Paris bans e-scooters

In a move which will be closely watched by insurers, a clear majority of Parisians have voted to ban electric scooters from the streets of the French capital.

The ultimate decision on whether e-scooters will continue to be allowed to operate in the French capital rests with the Mayor’s office, given that this was a non-binding referendum. However, city authorities have said they would respect the vote.

The ban won between 86% and 92% of the votes in the 20 Paris districts that published results, according to the City of Paris website, in a referendum that was billed as a rare “public consultation”.

Electric scooters accessed through smartphone apps have operated in Paris since 2018, but following complaints about their deployment, in 2020 Paris in cut the number of operators to three.

It gave them a three-year contract, required that scooters’ speed be capped at 20km/h 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.

In 2021, 24 people died in scooter-related incidents in France, including one in Paris. Last year, Paris registered 459 incidents with e-scooters and similar vehicles, including three fatal ones. 

The Paris vote comes as cities worldwide are tightening regulations on e-scooters, limiting the number of operators as well as speed and where they can park.