A law for the use of electric scooters is expected to be introduced in Ireland in the coming months.
New research conducted by Connolly Hospital has shown that more than half of the people hospitalized with injuries while using e-scooters were not wearing helmets.
Most of the patients were in their 30s and 40s and used their electric scooters to get to and from work.
Twenty-two patients were treated at Connolly Hospital for electric scooter-related injuries between October 2019 and November 2020.
Of this, 73% of the patients were male and just over half did not have a driver’s license, while 60% of the patients were not wearing a helmet at the time of the accident.
Doctors at Connolly Hospital believe that people’s attitude towards e-scooters is that they are considered a “children’s recreational device” and should not be taken seriously like cycling, where helmets are used almost universally.
So what can the government do to stop or decrease this increase in injuries?
Legislation on e-scooters is the key to making them safer.
Transport Minister Eamon Ryan has started drafting legislation in the Road Traffic Bill that will finally give legal status to e-scooters and electric bicycles.
A new category of vehicles will be introduced known as ‘Powered Personal Transporters’ or PPT. Users will not require taxes, insurance or driving licenses.
Under current law, it is illegal to use e-scooters on Irish roads, and the Road Traffic Bill was finally established to legalize the use of e-scooters on Irish roads.
A new safety standard for e-scooters will be introduced.
Some of those new safety standards may include speed limits built into each electric scooter model, which is already the case with electric bikes, where the maximum speed is limited to 25 km / h.
Several private companies have already expressed interest in offering a subscription e-scooter service for Dublin, similar to the Dublin Bikes model.
Last month, Dott raised more than € 70 million to start the rollout of a subscription electric scooter service in Cork, Dublin, Limerick and Galway.