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French government asks Parisians to vote on e-scooter ban

After recording hundreds of accidents and receiving complaints of cluttered street sides, the French government is considering a ban on rented e-scooters in its capital city. It could prompt other European cities to do the same.

When they first started popping up on city streets, rentable e-scooters seemed like a great alternative to emission-heavy vehicles and crowded public transport.

The devices, which can be rented by anyone who has a debit card and smartphone, are better for the environment compared to cars. When they are charged by renewable sources of electricity, they produce virtually zero emissions.

As a result, it didn’t take long before thousands of them started popping up in major European cities, such as Paris. With 15,000 e-scooters found dotted around French streets, complaints over public safety and compliance with driving laws started pouring in.

After much consideration, the government is asking Parisians to vote on whether e-scooter rental services should continue to exist. The vote, which local leaders expect to be highly divisive, will take place on April 2nd.

It’s expected that a potential ban might encourage other cities to consider a similar move.

Does the cost of e-scooters outweigh their benefits?

It’s difficult to say what the majority of Parisians really think until the vote takes place, but the record seems to suggest it does.

Rented e-scooters can reach up to 20 km/h, but many areas have seen the devices automatically reduce to 10 km/h. In most cases, they have been programmed to shut off in public parks and can only be parked in specific areas.

But the concerns over the safety of riders, drivers, and pedestrians continue to brew. Especially now that there have been hundreds of accidents caused by e-scooters.

At least 24 people died while using e-scooters in France in 2021, with 337 additional incidents reported. The risk is higher than normal vehicles, as those using e-scooters are less likely to be wearing helmets and are more likely to be intoxicated while operating them.

They’re also a major pain for those walking the streets as they tend to be left parked in an inconsiderate manner. They clutter sidewalks and stand randomly in open walking spaces like city squares.

Not to mention, they’re becoming a huge ‘pollution’ problem, as reports of people throwing e-scooters into the Seine river once finished with them continue to stack up. Not so environmentally friendly once underwater, I’d imagine.

In recent months, the deputy mayor of Paris has stated his opinion that the ‘nuisances caused by scooters now outweigh the advantages to the city.’

But in true French fashion, leaders are letting the citizens have their say.

If the ban goes ahead, it’s likely that electronically-motorised push bikes will still be available for rent – especially as Paris has just installed 180km of additional bike paths to make its city 100 percent cyclable.

Let’s hope so, as renting a bike is a great way to explore the city or get somewhere in a snap. It’s only a matter of time before we see whether Parisians say ‘au revoir’ to e-scooters and whether other major cities will do the same.


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