By Ciara Tyrrell
In recent times it seems clear that planes, trains, and motor mobiles are not the only vehicles on Irish roads. Electric scooters have gotten more and more popular in 2021 with people zooming up and down roads on these strange new scooters.
The problem with Christmas just around the corner is that these electric scooters can be bought in stores just as easily as they can be seized by the guards and their legal status is becoming more concrete (and about time too!)
The legal status of electric of these battery-powered scooters has been updated in the new ‘Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021’ where Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton delivered this legislation.
The ‘Road Traffic and Roads Bill 2021’ explains that E-scooters will be a new class of powered personal transporters and the Minister will be able to provide for the use of these vehicles in public places under existing regulatory powers. It is hoped, by Minister Ryan, that this legislation will resolve “legal barriers to the use of e- scooters”.
However, although these scooters are becoming more and more acceptable, their legal status won’t necessarily stop the misuse of them in public areas as legislation won’t stop the users of these vehicles from zooming past pedestrians at crazy speeds.
Where can these scooters be bought and for how much?
On Halfords.ie- for example- their most expensive scooter is the ‘Mi Electric Scooter Pro2’ for 898.00 which can go at a maximum speed of 15.5 miles per hour with a charge time of up to 9 hours.
Halfords cheaper electric scooter is the ‘Micro Merlin Electric Scooter’ which can also go at a maximum speed of 15.5 miles per hour with a lesser charge time of 3 hours.
An electric scooter owners view
Katrina Marsh is the owner of an electric scooter. When Katrina first got her electric scooter there were still questions about their legality on the roads “I’ve heard about the are they or aren’t they talks when they first got popular”.
Katrina first got her electric scooter when they purchased a SEAT car as an“ incentive to order the car quickly” and when asked if the sellers of the car and the electric scooter mentioned anything about the illegality of the electric scooters in Ireland at the time, Katrina said, “they didn’t mention it, but it’s probably because they are a European company, but I’ve never been stopped by the guards for using it”.
Katrina was asked whether or not she thought it was reasonable to legislate electric scooters in the future if they did become legal to use in Ireland and Katrina responded by saying “yeah, I do think it would be reasonable. Scooters are scary man. I avoid using it unless I don’t have any other choice because it feels a lot more exposed and less under control than cycling”.