Residents of the French capital have voted overwhelmingly to rid the streets of rental e-scooters
Nine out of ten Parisians have voted in favor of banning rental electric scooters from the city’s streets. Once seen as a pioneering form of green transport, the scooters rapidly became a scourge as users flouted traffic laws and caused crashes and injuries.
Voters chose to ban the scooters by 89% to 10% in a “public consultation” on Sunday organized by Mayor Anne Hidalgo. Though the vote was non-binding, Hidalgo has vowed to implement the ban from September onwards.
The measure covers scooters rented to tourists and visitors by companies such as Lime, Dott, and Tier. These three firms own nearly 15,000 e-scooters, which users book via smartphone apps. The ban will not affect privately-owned scooters.
Hidalgo welcomed scooter rental firms to the city in 2018, claiming that the motorized two-wheelers would relieve traffic congestion and lure people out of carbon-emitting cars. More than a dozen companies moved into the rental market, but residents soon complained about riders weaving precariously in between traffic, mounting sidewalks, and abandoning the scooters on roads, in parks, and even in the River Seine.
A rider was hit by a car and killed in Paris’ first e-scooter accident in 2019. Last year saw 34 people killed and 600 others seriously injured across France while riding e-scooters or similar mobility devices, according to France’s national road safety agency. Pedestrians have suffered too, with an Italian woman killed in 2021 after she was hit by a scooter carrying two passengers.
In the five years since she opened Paris up to the scooter rental companies, Hidalgo has changed her tune. “Self-service scooters are a source of tension and worry” for locals, she told the AFP last week, claiming that a ban would “reduce nuisance” on the streets.
Following the vote, Paris will become the first EU capital to ban rental e-scooters entirely. Copenhagen outlawed the devices in 2020, but allowed them to return the following year with some stiffer restrictions. After a string of accidents in 2021, Moscow authorities imposed a 15kph (9mph) speed limit on e-scooters in the center of the Russian capital.
April 04, 2023 at 08:59PM