French citizens wage war on electric step scooters
From September, a decree bans step scooters from using the pavement in France, except when explicitly allowed by the city. Apacauvi feels this new rule will be a dud and wants more measures. Arnaud Kielbaza, whose wife was hit by a step scooter in May while holding her daughter, wants more rules for the operators.
He proposes they have to keep a rigorous database about their clients. “At the moment of payment, users have to transmit a copy of their identity card with their smartphone,” Kielbaza says. That way, culprits can be identified in case of an accident. At the moment, users can use any name they want and some pay with stolen credit cards.
35 euro fines
Before the new decree becomes active, many cities have already taken measures to restore order in their streets. Step scooters are banned from the sidewalk in Paris since April, and recently in Marseille. The French capital has forbidden them from parking on the sidewalk.
“We have issued more than 130 fines of 35 euros for badly parked step scooters,” says the Paris mayor’s office. Acapauvi suggests outsourcing verbalization to a private company, just like with fines for badly parked cars.
After the summer holidays, Apacauvi will file a group lawsuit against the city of Paris for reckless endangerment of lives. According to the organization, Paris has never taken action to guarantee the security of pedestrians.
During their meeting with the transport minister, they will also talk about the environmental and social impact of free-floating step scooters. “With these step scooters, Paris wanted to give itself an ecologic image. But the electric step scooter is not ecological at all,” says Kielbaza.
According to Kielbaza, the companies offering the free-floating step scooters are not recycling the lithium batteries. Moreover, operators exploit people with low-wage jobs. He is talking about the ‘juicers,’ who collect the step scooters to have them recharged. They often transform their homes into garages to charge the scooters, all for a small fee.