France Increases Minimum Age For
E-scooters As Paris Banns Rentals
18 APR - France increased the minimum age for using an electric scooter from 12 to 14.
The government unveiled a new regulatory plan for e-scooters increasing the age limit as well as raising fines for riding on them with another person from 35 to 135 EUR , France 23 announced.
"The explosion in use (of scooters) has come with an increase in the number of crashes. It's a cause for worry," Transport Minister Clement Beaune told a press conference, adding that one in five accidents in Paris involved two people sharing an e-scooter. The new rules will cover all scooters - privately owned and free-floating ones for rent via apps such as Lime, Dott or Tier which are now available in more than 200 towns across France, Beaune said. „It's important that we make it clear that e-scooters are not a toy“, the minister added. Аs part of Beaune's regulation plan scooter operators in France signed a charter that would see them commit to work on improving safety, extending the life of batteries to at least five years, and recycling their products in France.
Meanwhile, at a local referendum Parisians voted to ban rental electric scooters in the capital. With an overwhelming 90% of votes cast supporting a ban, the government promised to follow the will of the majority despite the plebiscite being legally non-binding. Paris was a pioneer when it introduced e-scooters in 2018 as the city’s authorities sought to promote non-polluting forms of urban transport, the Independent reminded. But as the two-wheeled vehicles grew in popularity, especially among young people, so did the number of crashes: in 2022 three people died and 459 were injured in e-scooter collisions in Paris. Mayor Anne Hidalgo supported the ban. “Self-service scooters are a source of tension and worry for Parisians and a ban would reduce nuisance in public spaces“, Hidalgo said, quoted by AFP. Paris had almost 15,000 e-scooters across its streets. The ban will not affect privately-owned devices.
Detractors argue that rental e-scooter users disrespect the rules of the road and regularly flout a ban on riding on pavements. The vehicles are also often haphazardly parked or even thrown into the Seine. In June 2021, a 31-year-old Italian woman was killed after being hit by an e-scooter with two passengers onboard while walking along the river.
“I expect this referendum to have implications to lots of other cities in France and even overseas”, Minister Beaune said for Europe 1 radio.