Draft regulations to legalise the use of e-scooters in the island are currently being reviewed.
This comes after the Department of Infrastructure undertook a consultation on the use of electric push bikes and scooters in January 2021.
Of the 1,600 respondents, 70% supported legalising electric scooters and allowing faster electric bikes.
In addition to the public consultation, the department has engaged with officers in the Department of Home Affairs, the constabulary, the road safety partnership and the climate change team.
‘These are now being reviewed before continuing the process to bring them before Tynwald for consideration.’
The regulations include that it will become legal to drive e-scooters on the island’s roads and cycle lanes but they will remain prohibited from being ridden on footways and in pedestrianised areas.
They will only be allowed on roads that have a speed limit of 30mph or less, they will be limited to 250 watts and around 15mph (the general standard across Europe), and riders would have to be 14 years or older.
Also, helmets would not be mandatory but recommended.
‘The department is keen to support government achieving its climate change commitments and recognises that electric scooters could be an important part of that – encouraging people out of cars for short journeys, including commutes,’ Mr Thomas said.
‘The department also believes it will help them to lead a more active lifestyle, leading to longer, healthier lives.’
The DoI is taking a ‘permissive approach’ to the regulations to encourage people to make the modal shift and lifestyle change.
He explained that this approach seems to be in contrast with that of the approach in the UK, which ‘seems to be taking a more risk-averse approach compared to most countries’.
The minister added: ‘The department would undertake a two-year post-implementation study on the uptake, safety and modal shift.
‘About 40% of under 40s said they would consider using an e-scooter in the future, but this dropped to 19% for those over 40 and under 65.’