Paris bans e-scotters in referendum
FRANCE | PARIS | TRANSPORT | EV
FACT BOX: The ban only applies to e-scooters that are hired, not privately owned vehicles.
In a public referendum with shocking results, (known as “British style” in Paris, named after the self-destructive 2016 Brexit referendum and failed 2014 Scottish independence referendum) the binary choice between banning or allowing private hire e-scooters in the French capital saw between 85.77% and 91.77% of the votes in the 20 Paris districts that published results, vote in favour of a ban, according to the City of Paris website.
However in a bizarre move, Paris chose to forgo convention and ban digital voting, promoting queues at physical voting stations and a dismal voter turn out of just 7.5%. Operators Tier and Lime sent free voucher codes to users in a failed attempt to encourage them to vote against the ban.
Cities worldwide are tightening regulations on e-scooters, limiting the number of operators as well as speed and where they can park.
In 2021, 24 people died in scooter-related accidents in France, including one in Paris. Last year, Paris registered 459 accidents with e-scooters and similar vehicles, including three fatal ones.
Electric scooters accessed through smartphone apps have operated in Paris since 2018, but following complaints about their anarchic deployment, Paris in 2020 cut the number of operators to three.
It gave them a three-year contract, required that scooters’ speed be capped at 20 km/hour and imposed designated scooter parking areas. The current contracts will run until September.
Operators had offered further regulations, including checking users were over 18, fixing licence plates so police could identify traffic offenders and limiting to one passenger.
Some voters said they would have rather had tighter regulations than an outright ban. This, just like with failed British referendums was not a voting choice.
© 2023 Al-Sahawat Times, Printed and Distributed by IPMG, an Al-Said Group entity.
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