E-scooters face Paris ban after public referendum

Parisians have overwhelmingly voted to ban rentable e-scooters from their city in a non-binding referendum.

Over 100,000 of the city’s residents voted, with 89 per cent of them choosing to end services that rent e-scooters.

However, while the tally looks definitive, with over 1.3 million people registered on the electoral lists, participation in the vote represents just seven per cent of those who were eligible.

E-scooters have been available to rent in the capital since 2018, although the number of operators were reduced to just three in 2020 following complaints – Lime, Dott, and Tier.

Easy to access via an app and found all over central Paris, e-scooters proved popular with tourists wanting to quickly navigate the city for a relatively low cost.

In the five years since their introduction, following in the wake of shared cars and shared bicycles, for-hire scooters have also built a following among some Parisians who do not want to own their own vehicle but appreciate them as an alternative to public transport.

But some locals have also complained that they are an eyesore, a traffic menace and are often parked haphazardly.

In translated comments, Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, said: “I would like to warmly thank all the Parisians who responded by going to the polls throughout the day.

“Thanks to their mobilisation, this first vote is a great democratic success for our city and I am delighted. Once again Paris innovates.

“This evening, the Parisians who spoke overwhelmingly spoke out against self-service scooters. Their very clear message now becomes our roadmap. With my team, we will follow through on their decision as I promised.”

In 2021, 24 people died in scooter-related accidents in France, including one in Paris. Last year, Paris registered 459 accidents with e-scooters and similar vehicles, including three fatal ones.

Rentable e-scooters have also been available in London since 2021 from the same three firms that operate in Paris.

Meanwhile, privately-owned e-scooters are technically banned from British roads and public spaces, even though many people flout the rules. Private use was to have been legalised in 2022 but the legislation was delayed and is now expected this year. 

This is despite data from hospital trusts that showed that the number of e-scooter accidents increased by 40 per cent between 2020 and 2021, with 173 patients treated at the scene of an accident being taken to their local A&E facility during 2021 compared with just 124 during 2020.

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Original Source: https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2023/04/e-scooters-banned-in-paris-after-public-referendum/

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