2021: New Electric Scooter (e-scooter) Regulations in Paris

2021: New Electric Scooter (e-scooter) Regulations in Paris.

Over the years, Paris authorities have taken steps to limit traffic in the French capital and to encourage alternative modes of transport, such as cycling and e-scootering. The aim is to make Paris safer and cut air pollution, but there is growing discontent among drivers. 

In June 2021, Paris authorities threatened to ban e-scooters if their operators didn’t enforce speed limits and other rules after a pedestrian was knocked down and killed by two e-scooter riders who fled the scene. The rider and a passenger on the same scooter fled the scene and were found after a 10-day search. Three people have now been fatally hit by e-scooters in Paris since 2019.

There are about 15,000 e-scooters for rent across the city, with regulations: travel no faster than 20 kilometres per hour (12 miles per hour) with only one rider, and only on streets or bike paths. Critics say those rules are not being enforced.

The three e-scooter operators, Lime, Dott, and Tier, have contracts until October 2022. Their contracts add nearly one million euros ($1.2 million) a year to the city’s revenue.

Rental electric scooters will be forced to slow down to just above walking speed in many areas of Paris under new rules in force from Monday November 15, 2021. In 700 areas in Paris, the rental scooter speed is now capped at 10 kmph (6 mph).

Rental e-scooters, tracked in real time by geolocation, will automatically be slowed down to half their normal top speed once they enter the designated areas, which includes parks, gardens, streets near schools, squares in front of public buildings and places of worship, pedestrian streets, and busy shopping areas.

On Monday, David Belliard, Paris deputy mayor in charge of transport, told AFP that the new restrictions were “a first step, but nowhere near enough.” More slow-speed zones were needed, he said, including in areas where pedestrians, cyclists, and scooter riders shared spaces, such as on the banks of the Saint-Martin canal and along the river Seine, where there are long car-free streets.

Over the coming weeks, every Paris district will supply a list of desired slow-zones to the e-scooter operators, Lime, Dott, and Tier. The three operators have meanwhile made progress towards addressing the often anarchical parking of scooters. They now require users to take a picture proving that they dropped off the scooter in the right place, and have also created a joint 12-person task force to pick up scooters left randomly in the street.

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