Paris takes urgent measures to stop free-floating scooter chaos
Since their introduction in the French capital, free-floating scooters have gone from green and cool vehicles to get around into real troublemakers. Paris wants to ban users from parking on the pavement and to restrict the scooter’s maximum speed to 25 kph on the street and 8 kph in pedestrian areas.
For some months now, traffic in Paris has become a real jungle. The culprit? Free-floating scooters. Firstly seen as a greener and cooler way to get around the French capital, these small electric machines have gained a bad reputation.
Users have been seen driving at speed on the pavement, cutting way to pedestrians, not respecting the traffic regulations and even hitting people without a single care. Not to mention those waving in and out of traffic, putting lives at risk, especially their own, to spare a few minutes of travel time.
To try and deal with the situation, Paris’ city hall has decided to take matters into its own hands. But, the legal basis for action is missing and should have been granted to it by the Mobility Law (LOM) that should’ve been voted in 2018.
Until the government decides to give Paris authority, the city has decided to take urgent measures starting from this July. Free-floating scooters should, therefore, be banned from parking on the pavement. Also, the city wants to limit their speed at 25 kph on the street and 8kph in pedestrian areas. This mode of transport will also be banned from parks and gardens.
‘Lack of anticipation’
These new urgent measures will add up to those taken in March on the inconvenient parking. “1.000 fines have been given and 600 scooters have been impounded”, explains Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.
“They’ve let those companies come without a legal framework and hoped everything would be in order”, attacks Paris’ 9th district Mayor, Delphine Bürkli. Some other French cities have managed to get a hand on the situation. Bordeaux, for instance, has limited the number of scooters to 100 per operator.
Yet, there is currently no legal basis. Complaints could be filed and Paris could even, theoretically, be sued. “I’m considering assigning the city to court because it hasn’t put the conditions in place for a safe use of this mode of transport “, says attorney Michel Benezra, defending several pedestrians hit by scooters.