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In 2023, the Government approved legislation so electric scooters could be regulated and used publicly. Electric scooters are still technically illegal to use in public places as the regulations haven’t been enacted. In this article you’ll find out why electric scooters are technically still illegal for use in public, what legislation has been approved and what’s escooter regulations are incoming. 


In 2023, the Government approved legislation so electric scooters could be regulated and used publicly. Electric scooters are still technically illegal to use in public places as the regulations haven’t been enacted.

You might ask why is it technically illegal to drive these green, traffic-easing two-wheeled machines, which have similar speeds and serve a similar purpose as bicycles on public roads. The answer lies in The Road and Traffic Act 1961 and how an electric scooter falls under a mechanically propelled vehicle classification.

The Road Traffic Act 1961 outlines Ireland’s legal definitions and requirements for mechanically propelled vehicles. The Act defines mechanically propelled vehicles as “vehicles which are able to sustain propulsion mechanically”. Under the legislation, mechanically propelled vehicles must be taxed and insured, and their operator must have the requisite driver’s license. These definitions were introduced decades before electric scooters existed. With the technological enhancement of push scooters into electric scooters using electrical and mechanical components such as batteries, motors and throttles, they fall under the definition of mechanically propelled vehicles. 

As there are no regulations in place to provide for the use of electric scooters on public roads, insurers have not yet made available an insurance package specific to electric scooters. While the Revenue Commissioners do not currently allow for the registration of an e-scooter as a privately owned vehicle, obtaining tax for an electric scooter is impossible. As you have probably noticed, a vicious cycle exists in which e-scooters cannot be used in public because you need tax and insurance. You cannot obtain tax or insurance due to the failure of the Government to regulate them. The approved legislation created a new category of transport called Personal Powered Transporters so scooters can be legalised.


On the 27th of June, 2023, President Michael D. Higgins signed the Road Traffic and Roads Act 2023 into law. This allowed the Government to propose regulations to the European Commission and get electric scooters onto our roads!

This new Act creates a brand-new vehicle category – Powered Personal Transporters (PPT), which will welcome e-scooters onto our public roads, given that they tick all the right boxes. The definition of PPT is broad, so outdated legislation won’t block future technological changes in PPTs like scooters did previously. 

PPTs do not require vehicle registration, motor tax, insurance or a driving licence. Once your e-scooter meets the standards set out in the regulations, you’re free to ride on our roads without the fear of having your scooter confiscated.

PPTs should adhere to these three main conditions:

  • It can’t exceed a maximum continuous rated power output of 400 Watts. In the context of a e-scooter, Watts measures the power a motor can generate. 
  • It has a maximum net weight (battery included) of 25 kg. The Government likely set this limit to minimise the harm caused in accidents due to a scooter’s weight.
  • It has a maximum design speed of up to 25 km/hr. That’s plenty to get you where you need to go, all while keeping safety in mind. To compare, a cyclist may be travelling between 15-25 km/hr on a push bike.

It’s important to note that if an electric scooter does not meet these specifications, it is not deemed a PPT and will remain illegal on the roads. The Government has said there are no plans to legislate for scooters above these conditions. 

With these definitions in hand, the Government proposed them to the European Council in 2023, who asked the Irish Government to use the RSA to regulate them. The Road Safety Authority is a state agency formed by the Irish Government to promote road safety within Ireland. 


The latest news on the regulations from the Road Safety Authority is the following:

Among other criteria, a maximum speed limit of 20km/h will apply, with a maximum power output of 400 Watts and a maximum weight – including batteries – of 25kg. Other technical requirements, including lighting and construction, will also be introduced. An age limit of 16 will apply, and e-scooters with seats will not be permitted. E-scooters will not be allowed to carry more than one person nor to be used for the carriage of goods. 

Although the use of helmets and other personal protective equipment, including hi-vis, on e-scooters will not be required by law, it is strongly recommended by the Road Safety Authority. 

As of the time of writing, there have been no significant developments from the RSA on the regulations, and we are still waiting for a timeline to introduce them. 

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