A Limerick Councillor is calling for stricter regulations for e-bikes and scooters.
Cllr Daniel Butler says life in Limerick city has been disrupted due to the dangerous behaviour of some e-bike riders. He reports that many can be seen breaking speed limits, cycling on footpaths, and blocking traffic.
According to the former Mayor, groups of young men wearing face coverings and riding e-bikes through the city are also common. He says these groups can be threatening to other residents.
"What we're seeing is them going around in gangs, ignoring the rules of the road, going against traffic, going across traffic, up on the footpath at high speeds, and with their faces covered as well," he said.
"It seems to be a phenomenon since COVID that we have these groups of individuals that can go around on e-bikes, with their face covered, in open-day... It's not like it's cold – it's for only one particular purpose and that is to hide their faces for whatever they may be up to, which is normally, at the very minimum, antisocial behaviour.
"Face coverings for religious purposes obviously should be permitted, or for medical purposes, but outside of that, why are these individuals covering up their faces?"
Under Irish law, any vehicle that can travel over 25 kilometres per hour, must be taxed and insured. E-bikes that are powered by a throttle, rather than a peddle, are also illegal. However, that is rarely policed. Recently, it was reported that an e-bike was caught going 100 kilometres an hour in Dublin.
Cllr Butler is calling on the Departments of Justice and Transport to take action. He believes that all scooters without the proper paperwork should be seized. Cllr Butler also believes the sale of e-vehicles needs to be put under heavier regulations.
"Gardaí should be empowered to be able to see them immediately. There needs to be regulation around the sale of them because obviously somebody's selling them and making money out of these vehicles."