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Wednesday, 15th May 2024

New regulations for e-scooters and e-bikes come into force next Monday

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Users of e-scooters must be aged 16 or over

E-bikes, e-mopeds and e-scooters of all shapes and sizes have become a common sight on our streets and pavements in recent years without any regulations governing their use.

All that is about to change however, as new laws come into force next Monday 20th May, which will set out new legal and safe technical parameters and usage of e-scooters and e-bikes which will be enforceable under Irish law.

The Gardaí and Road Safety Authority have been involved in the development of these regulations from the start and An Garda Síochána will be responsible for their enforcement.

The introduction of these new rules provides a legal basis for the range of vehicles available and the correct way of using them. This will help improve the safety for other road users as well as the vehicle users themselves.

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

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.

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.

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:

(a) 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.

(b) 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.

Transport Minister Eamon 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.

“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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