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Paris bans rental e-scooters

, Paris bans rental e-scooters, eTurboNews | eTN
Paris bans rental e-scooters
Harry Johnson
Written by Harry Johnson

E-scooter street tourist rentals have for years been a nuisance for Paris’ bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike.

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Paris was one of the first cities in Europe to adopt the e-scooter rentals five years ago. Now, French capital became one of the first European cities to ban renting them on the street, after April referendum’s results showed that 90% of Parisians wanted the vehicles gone.

The last of Paris’ 15,000 battery-powered rental e-scooters was removed from city streets last Thursday, ahead of a ban that took effect yesterday after the scooter operators’ contracts expired.

E-scooter street rentals, which are mostly availed of by tourists and children (who could legally ride them from age 12 before the minimum age was increased to 14 in March) – have for years been a nuisance for Paris’ bicyclists, pedestrians, and motorists alike, weaving through traffic, cluttering pavements, and moving at speeds too fast for walkers and too slow for drivers (at up to 17 mph).

There were three deaths associated with e-scooter accidents in 2022 alone, with 459 people injured – an increase over 2021’s single fatality and 353 injuries.

That 2021 accident, in which a 31-year-old Italian woman was killed after an e-scooter carrying two people plowed into her, brought international attention to the problem, though rideshare advocates have argued the scooters cause a tiny percentage of overall traffic accidents in Paris.

The French capital had already cracked down on the scooters in 2019 and 2020, imposing built-in speed limits and tracking with hefty fines of up to €1,500 ($1,617) for violators, a high-visibility clothing requirement, limiting how many operators could use one, and fining riders who “dumped” the scooters in the street after use.

The referendum to ban the vehicles was championed by Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, a Socialist and cycling advocate who had previously supported e-scooter shares, and despite a low turnout and the rental companies complaining about “restrictive voting methods” dragging Paris back into the public-transit dark ages despite the 2024 Olympics being just around the corner, the measure was voted in.

After the ban went into effect, the e-scooter rental companies, including Dott, Lime, and Tier, reportedly plan to ship their Paris stocks to other European cities with more permissive regimes, including elsewhere in France.

About the author

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson

Harry Johnson has been the assignment editor for eTurboNews for mroe than 20 years. He lives in Honolulu, Hawaii, and is originally from Europe. He enjoys writing and covering the news.

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