In the wake of several accidents and traffic rules violations due to the usage of electric scooters, Paris is introducing new rules i.e. a ban on electric scooter parking on pavements. Electric scooters are very popular in Paris, especially due to their low environmental impact.
There are about 15,000 to 20,000 electric scooters on the streets of Paris, and it is being estimated that this figure will continue to grow and will reach approximately 40,000 very soon.
Problems caused by electric scooters
Electric scooters are the cheapest and quickest way of getting around the city. Apart from being convenient, these scooters are also ‘dockless’. They can easily be unlocked by a phone app and can be left anywhere on the streets. This is why these scooters can be seen casually strewn across the city squares or left abandoned in piles on narrow pavements. This practice of leaving them on pavements has led to many conflicts over the usage of public space, especially in terms of parking.
The tendency to leave them anywhere on the street once the ride is finished has also become an inconvenience to pedestrians. These scooters run a significant risk of obstructing and causing injuries, especially to the elderly, children, and people with a disability.
Electric scooters zooming past the pedestrians on the pavement are also dangerous; they can easily collide with a pedestrian and cause grave injuries. The fact that these electric scooters can go up to 25km/h, some even reaching up to 50km/h, has made them a bigger safety issue for the people on the streets.
These electric scooters have already become the cause of two deaths and scores of traffic accidents, which has prompted the citizens to complain strongly and for the authorities to take strict steps.
Also Read: London To Charge Parking Based on Emissions
Steps taken: Ban on Electric Scooter Parking
To restore a sense of tranquility to all pedestrians, the French ministry has introduced new rules regarding electric scooters. These new rules are meant to encourage the responsible use of these electric scooters. On June 6, 2019, Paris authorities announced the ban on electric scooter parking on the pavements.
The Mayor of Paris, Ms. Anne Hidalgo, also announced that electric scooters will only be parked or kept in areas that are designated for cars and motorized two-wheelers or are already existing motorbike spaces. Not only this, but Paris authorities have also banned electric scooter parking from parks and gardens.
Not only parking on pavements, even leaving them on pavements is prohibited. People who use electric scooters will have to use normal vehicle parking spaces, the same as motor-bikers or car drivers. The authorities have decided to create another 2,500 parking spaces around the city to accommodate electric scooters.
Along with banning parking of the scooters on the pavement, the Mayor has also announced other rules regarding the scooters. Riders will not be able to ride their scooter on the pavements unless in designated areas; even then, they will have to maintain a walking speed. Only one rider will be allowed on one scooter and they cannot use their mobile phones for that duration.
Also, riders won’t be allowed to wear headphones while on their scooters. The top speed of the electric scooters has also been cut down to 20km/h around the city and 8km/h on streets with pedestrians.
Paris authorities have also introduced a penalty of €135 for people who ride their electric scooters on the pavement and a fine of €35 on people who leave their scooters anywhere other than a reserved parking space. Not only this, but Paris authorities also want to limit the number of scooters on the streets.
This is why the Mayor of Paris has also asked the firms to share the usage and location data of their scooters so that the authorities could have real-time information on the number of scooters that are being used in public.
To ensure the safety of pedestrians, Paris authorities have announced the immediate ban on parking scooters on pavements and have plans of implementing more corrective measures soon.