05 Jul 2022

Man on scooter stopped at Laois Offaly garda checkpoint in court for no insurance

Man on scooter at Tullamore checkpoint is convicted of having no insurance

Tullamore District Court hears electric scooters over 250 watts are classed as mechanically propelled vehicles

A man on an electric scooter was convicted at Tullamore District Court of driving without insurance and having no licence.

There was no appearance for defendant Pedro Jose De Amorim when his name was called in the courtroom and while Judge Colm Roberts did convict him, he adjourned imposition of a penalty.

Mr De Amorim, 42, St Beccan's Terrace, Tullamore Road, Kilbeggan, was summonsed for driving without a licence and insurance at the N52, Arden, Tullamore.

Garda Pat McGee said in evidence that at 6.10pm on April 5 last year when he was conducting a checkpoint a gentleman on a 500-watt electric scooter approached.

Judge Roberts said the law is “slightly vague on all that” but he knew there had been convictions.

Garda McGee said that anything with “over a 250-watt motor” is deemed a mechanically propelled vehicle.

Judge Roberts said that it was up to the defendant to make arguments on the matter, not himself or the garda.

Convicting the accused in his absence, the judge told Garda McGee to notify the man of the court's decision by either a registered letter or by personal service and he adjourned consideration of a penalty to February 23 next.

Last year a bill was introduced in the Dáil which seeks to regulate the use of electric scooters and electric bikes.

An electric scooter is referred to in the draft legislation as a “powered personal transporter” and is defined as a vehicle designed to carry a single person, has a top speed of 25kph and and a maximum power output of 250 watts.

The Oireachtas is expected to resume discussion of the bill this year.

Currently, the use of mechanically propelled vehicles, including electric scooters, is governed by the Road Traffic Act 1961.

According to the Road Safety Authority, Section 38 of the Road Traffic Act 1961 specifies that a person shall not drive a mechanically propelled vehicle in a public place unless they are in possession of a driving licencing appropriate to that vehicle.

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