2 July 2023
By Elaine Murphy
The Green Party in Cork welcomes updated road traffic legislation signed into law this week
The Green Party in Cork has welcomed updated road traffic legislation to regulate e-scooters, e-bikes and to allow gardaí to more easily seize scramblers and other vehicles being used for anti-social purposes.
On Tuesday, the Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023 was signed into law. It provides a legal basis for light electric vehicles up to 25kg in weight and with a maximum speed of 25km/h in a new category called Powered Personal Transporters. Based on this, new regulations specifically for e-scooters will follow.
The act also caps the power and speed of electric bicycles at 250W and that the motor will cut out at 25km/hr or when the cyclist stops peddling. Most electric bicycles are already in this category. Electric bicycles above this limit will be categorised as e-mopeds and will need to be registered, taxed and insured and the drivers will need to have a moped driver’s licence.
The new law makes it easier for Gardaí to seize vehicles like scramblers too that are being driven dangerously, including at a person’s homes. This is intended to make it easier to for the Gardaí to seize a vehicle that is being misused, without risking the safety of bystanders or the rider themselves.
Welcoming the news, Green Party councillor for Cork City North East, Oliver Moran, said:
“The types of vehicles we see on our streets are changing and the law is catching up with that. I cycle an electric bicycle as probably my main mode of transport to get around the city, but I know many people have questions about them and wonder at what point a bicycle becomes a motorcycle. This law clarifies that and brings us in line with the European norm.
“Here on the northside, there’s a huge interest in e-scooters as a way to easily and cheaply get into town and back up the hills again, and there’s concerns about these too. The new law caps the weight and speed of e-scooters and the regulations that will follow will clarify where these can be ridden and how. They shouldn’t be ridden on footpaths but they are welcome in the cycle lanes that are being rolled out across the city. That opens new opportunities for people to get around quickly, safely and with courtesy for other people.”
Green Party Minister, Eamon Ryan, whose department spearheaded the new legislation, said:
“It will 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. Importantly, these provisions will help encourage more people to choose new convenient ways to travel that help them avoid time-wasting congestion and gridlock. In doing so, they will 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.”