'There'll be more accidents' - Parents urged not to buy E-scooters as Christmas gifts

New legislation, which will come into force in 2024, means people will be allowed to drive e-scooters on Irish roads
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.13 29 Nov 2023

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'There'll be more accidents' -...

'There'll be more accidents' - Parents urged not to buy E-scooters as Christmas gifts

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

12.13 29 Nov 2023

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People are being urged to not to buy e-scooters, scramblers or quad bikes for children this Christmas.

The Road Safety Authority (RSA) said that while legislation regulating the use of e-scooters was passed earlier this year, it only applies to people aged 16 years or older.

The new laws, which come into force next year, means people will be legally allowed to drive e-scooters on Irish roads.


Children, however, will not be allowed to use them – and the RSA is warning people not to buy them as presents for their children.

It is also reminding parents that quad bikes and scramblers are dangerous for children and should be not be gifted to them this Christmas.

Transport commentator Conor Faughnan told The Pat Kenny Show the line between toys and vehicles has been blurred.

"These things are potentially very dangerous, they are not toys," he said.

"In the case of quad bikes, they're used for leisure; they're also used properly as off-road equipment as farmers, foresters, things like that.

"It's now a rule that you have to have training for them, so they're not just something you can give to a kid as a toy".

'Rules around e-scooters'

Conor said e-scooters can be a good commuting tool for adults.

They are a brilliant solution – virtually emissions free; you can use them on the cycling network, you can, in many cases, fold them up and take them on to a DART," he said.

"We now have rules around e-scooters... but the line between where a toy becomes something roadworthy is a little blurred.

"A lot of these e-scooters are essentially toys; they have small wheels.

"You take them out on to the open road or an ordinary road, you'll come a cropper very, very easily.

"If kids in their droves get them this Christmas, and given that they're theoretically legal now, you can foresee that happening.

"I would worry that we could be seeing a big escalation in the number of injuries".


Conor said the quietness of e-scooters can also be a problem.

"These things are creepy silent and they can arrive without warning," he said.

"In a normal mix, you'll have people wearing headphones, looking at screens, you'll have people with dogs on leashes - all of those things are potential for hazards.

"We're going to have our first winter now where we have legal e-scooters on ice in our towns and cities.

"You do fear that we could see an escalation of slips, trips and falls of all sorts and the potential for hazard is there".

Conor said the change in legislation will see more e-scooter incidents.

"More e-scooters will mean more e-scooter accidents," he said.

"What we have to police and figure out is how are they different from bicycles, are there other things that we need to do to make the environment safe?"


Three e-scooter riders were killed and 48 seriously injured on Irish roads between January 2022 and September 2023.

During the same period, one other road user was killed and 11 more seriously injured in collisions involving e-scooters.

Casualty figures show that between 2017 and 2021, 88 people were injured in collisions involving a quadbike or scrambler on a public road.

There were four fatalities involving quad bikes or scramblers on public roads in the same period.

Main image: A person rides an e-scooter in Dublin city, 20/08/2020. Image: Sam Boal/

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Christmas Conor Faughnan E Scooters Legislation Quad Bikes Road Safety Authority Scramblers The Pat Kenny Show

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