Paris holds referendum to decide whether to ban shared electric scooters

Paris holds referendum to decide whether to ban shared electric scooters

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The city of Paris will hold a vote next Sunday (2) to find out whether Parisians are in favor or against electric scooters shared by the city. The municipal government must decide in the coming months whether to maintain the permit for the service or prohibit it.

Omnipresent on the streets of the French capital, electric scooter users often seem unaware of all the traffic laws in France. Introduced in Paris in 2018, electric scooters have gone from being fun and interesting transport to becoming the reason for conflicts in the capital.

Opponents of scooters are numerous and motivated. “It’s complete anarchy”, complains retired Ivan Lellouche, 69 years old. He says he was hit by a teenager on a scooter a few years ago and “I’ve had a problem with my knee ever since.”

There were 408 accidents with electric scooters in Paris throughout the year 2022, which caused the death of three people and left another 459 injured.

Voting next Sunday is open to all voters in Paris, who will be able to answer whether they are “for or against shared scooters”. Based on the result, the city hall will decide the fate of 15,000 scooters that currently occupy the streets of the capital.

Against scooters, in addition to accidents, there are criticisms of users who abandon their vehicles anywhere, occupying the tiny space on the sidewalks and even ending up at the bottom of the Seine River.

The referendum has only an advisory character, the final decision will be in charge of the mayor’s office of the socialist Anne Hidalgo. But she claims to be committed “to the opinion of Parisians”, in an interview.

The three operators of electric scooters that are rented on the streets of Paris look scared to the vote that could ban them on Sunday, one year away from the 2024 Olympic Games.

“Paris is going against what is happening all over the world”, criticizes Hadi Karam, responsible for Lime, which says it has 400,000 monthly users of its scooters in the French capital.

(With AFP)


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