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16th May 2024

E-scooters banned for under 16s in Ireland from Monday

Sophie Collins

e-scooter

Under 16s will be banned from using e-scooters, e-bikes and e-mopeds from Monday, May 20th

New regulations coming into effect on Monday under the Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023 will see e-scooters and e-bikes/e-mopeds banned for under 16s.

From May 20th, the new regulations will layout the rules of the road for people choosing to use light electric vehicles and will be enforceable under Irish law.

The number of e-scooters and e-bikes is increasing in most cities, towns and villages in Ireland. 

The new rules have been created to ensure there is a legal basis for the range of vehicles available.

They also set out clearly how different types of e-scooters and e-bikes can be used safely.

e-scooter

According to the announcement from the government, the following ruled will be in place:

  1. E-scooters with a maximum power output of 400 W or less, a maximum design speed of 20km/h and with a maximum weight of 25 kg – these are the regular e-scooters used by the majority of people – will be legal to use on public roads. Any e-scooter that goes over these parameters – more powerful and heavier e-scooters – will remain illegal. The new regulations stipulate that users of e-scooters must be 16 or over, because of safety concerns for young users and other road users. People over 16 will be able to use their e-scooters in cycle lanes and bus lanes but not footpaths or pedestrianised zones and are not allowed to carry other passengers or goods.
  2. E-bikes with a maximum power output of 250 W or less, a motor that cuts off once pedalling stops and has a maximum speed of 25km/hr – e-bikes that the vast majority of people use – will be treated the same as bicycles and will be permitted to use cycle lanes and bus lanes but will not be permitted for use on footpaths.
  3. E-mopeds are powered cycles with pedals that have an electrical power-assist greater than e-bikes and are often capable of speeds in excess of even fast cyclists. Because of this additional power, all e-mopeds will require vehicle registration through Revenue and to have annual motor tax (€35 per annum). Users must be 16 years and above. There are two categories of e-mopeds:
    1. Those that have a maximum design speed of 25km/hr and a maximum power output of up to 1000W, and have an electric motor that cuts off when pedalling stops (L1e-A e mopeds). These vehicles will be permitted for use in cycle lanes and bus lanes but not on footpaths and users are legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet.
    2. Those that have a maximum design speed of up to 45km/hr and a maximum power output of 4000W (L1e-B e-mopeds). L1e-B e-mopeds can have a motor that cuts off when pedalling stops (pedal-assist) or can be powered by its motor alone, called throttle e-mopeds. Both pedal-assist and throttle e-mopeds under the L1e-B category, will require a Category AM driver’s licence. Additionally, throttle e-mopeds will require insurance. Both L1e-B mopeds will not be permitted to use cycle lanes, bus lanes, footpaths or pedestrianised zones and users are legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet.

    Speaking about the incoming rule changes, Minister Ryan said:

    “These regulations, which are just one part of the comprehensive Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023, will help make our roads safer for all road users and give legal certainty to those who are choosing to get around on new forms of mobility.

    “Over the past few years, we’ve seen more and more e-scooter and e-bikes on our roads. Since they first appeared, many have developed and have become more powerful and these regulations set out clearly how they can all be used in our evolving transport landscape, safely and with respect for other road users, in particular those most vulnerable on our roads like pedestrians and cyclists. 

    “They will also help future-proof Ireland’s regulatory system to ensure that we can adapt to new technologies as they continue to emerge.”

    “I hope these provisions will also give confidence to more people to choose new ways to travel that help them avoid congestion and gridlock. They will also contribute to freeing up road space, which in turn means that we can allocate more space to provide improved, faster and more frequent public transport and walking and cycling infrastructure for everyone.”

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