Scootergate! New Rules
Despite grumblings from scooter users, the government has gone ahead and slapped a new financial penalty on those that ride their two-wheeler mode of transport on the sidewalk.
Electric scooter riders are now liable to face a fine of €135 if caught off-road; and subjected to a €35 charge plus impoundment fees, if they are parked inconveniently.
The measures are designed to regulate their use in line with charges faced by car drivers, although many believe, that it does little to encourage clean mobility.
This outcome is the culmination of discussions that started back in 2017 when members of the Paris Council proposed the introduction of a Sidewalk code. It followed the revelation that there were 25% more accidents on the pavement and increasing frustration with the unregulated use of scooters.
Locals and officials have been complaining that electric scooters, as they compete for space with other road users, cause serious problems. Not just in terms of the likelihood of more accidents but also the increased and chaotic parking of les trottinettes. You’ll frequently find them bunched up on busy thoroughfares in spaces usually reserved for the general public! It seems to have become quite a nuisance and the calls for regulation have been consistent for some time.
Locals are fed up with the narrow pavements of the capital being loaded with scooters, bikes and al fresco dining – all of which lessen the space to travel for the poor pedestrian. In addition, dissenters of electric scooters are stunned by their dangerous speeds of up to 25km p/h, which could potentially lead to highly dangerous collisions on the roads. Some have lobbied for a reduction to 15km p/h.
The intention is to not just subject the end-user to penalties but to also target the operators in an attempt to force them to take action if their customers to do not adhere to the rules. The Mayor of the 5th district has called for a limit on the number of scooter companies allowed to operate in the city, as under the current status quo any company can launch a fleet of them, bringing further havoc to the capital. The inconvenience and safety threat to pedestrians, especially those with reduced mobility as well as carers with prams and pushchairs, has also been highlighted, as calls for limiting operators gains momentum. It is estimated that there will be around 40,000 by the end of 2019.
Companies will now be charged €50 per scooter per year for the first 500 scooters going up to €65 for organisations with a fleet in excess of 3,000. The new rules will mean that electric scooters will only be allowed on roads and bike paths at least twelve months ahead of official legislation.
As the appeal of Electric scooters is on track to rise drastically over the coming years, the City Council has also vowed to invest, committing to the creation of 2,500 dedicated parking spaces which are likely to be compulsory.
All of these measures are rolling out with immediate effect.
Will keep you posted on any further developments.
Photo Credit: Triple – Scooter Tours
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