First lethal accident with e-scooter in Paris
On Monday evening, a 25-year-old man riding an electric scooter in Paris died after a collision with a truck. The accident happened in the ‘Goutte d’Or’ district. The young man had not given priority to a truck and was mortally hit by it. The truck driver thereupon was arrested for involuntary manslaughter. It is the first lethal accident with this new means of transport in the French capital.
“The accident shows that users have to be reminded they have to respect the elementary rules in traffic,” was the reaction of Emmanuel Grégoire, the first deputy of the Paris’ mayor. “National police should punish all infringements of users.”
The almost 20.000 electric scooters, introduced in the city last year, are becoming a real worry for Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo because there is no regulation for them. So she has listed several measures to put an end to all nuisances caused by the e-scooters: an explicit ban on parking on the pavement, and a speed limit of 8 to 20 kph.
No more obligations
The French Minister of Transport, Elisabeth Borne, is in favor of all new means of transport but she says their evolvement is “completely anarchistic”, which is causing safety problems for all users of public space. She referred to a decree in preparation that will define rules about the use, lighting, maximum speed of those vehicles. The new decree also will forbid the use of e-scooters on the pavement.
The mandatory use of a helmet, however, was voted away by the national assembly on Friday. “French citizens are fed up with obligations. We recommend wearing a helmet, but everybody has to take his or her responsibility.”
The electric scooter is undoubtedly getting the discussion going, and not only in France. Also in Germany, the arrival of the e-scooter was preceded by heated discussions. And in Belgium, the first fatal accident involving an e-scooter has occurred as well.
The accident took place on the night of 16 to 17 April in Brussels. At around 0.30 a.m., a 41-year-old man was found seriously injured on a bench, with the e-scooter at his feet. He was taken to the hospital, where he died of his injuries on 18 April.
Because it was not immediately clear what had happened, the public prosecutor had the images from surveillance cameras in the neighborhood analyzed. These showed that the man had crashed with the e-scooter and that no other persons or vehicles were involved in the accident. The incident stirred up discussions about the obligatory wearing of a helmet in Belgium.
Brussels recently followed Paris’ example of free-floating mobility services parking. The Region has created a particular map in which red zones indicate where parking will be banned. When scooters stay stationary for more than 24 hours in one of those zones, the operators will be fined.