Thursday, 3 March 2022
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
227. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the engagements he has had with an association (details supplied) in relation to e-scooters; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12200/22]
228. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his views on the paper on e-scooters by an organisation (details supplied); if Departmental officials have considered the recommendations put forward; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [12201/22]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 227 and 228 together.
Ensuring the safety of road users, especially vulnerable road users, is a priority for my Department as we legislate for e-scooters in line with our Programme for Government commitments. To this end, my Department sought and received submissions to consultation in 2019 and again in 2021 from stakeholders including the Irish Wheelchair Association. A subsequent representation from the NCBI, Irish Wheelchair Association and Irish Guide Dogs for the Blind was also received in 2021.
The Deputy will be aware that the Road Traffic and Roads Bill proposes the introduction of a new category of vehicle to the Road Traffic Acts called powered personal transporters, which will include micromobility vehicles like e-scooters. Vehicles designed and constructed for a person with restricted mobility are precluded from the scope of this category of vehicle. All relevant road traffic legislation will apply to powered personal transporters, however unlike mechanically propelled vehicles such as cars, vans, trucks and buses, registration, taxation and licensing will not be required.
The Bill provides for powers to set out in Regulations minimum technical and safety standards for such vehicles and rules for their safe use. Many of the recommendations in the submission from the Irish Wheelchair Association which the Deputy has shared refer to matters proper to those Regulations and will be considered in that context.
I would also advise the Deputy that the Road Traffic Acts do not provide for powers to establish or govern public or private vehicle rental schemes and accordingly I do not have a role in this regard. The governance of such schemes is a matter for the local authorities.