Paris forces electric scooters to slow down after pedestrian dies

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Rented electric scooters will be forced to slow to just above walking speed in many areas of Paris under new rules coming into effect on Monday, after the death of a pedestrian struck by a scooter in June sparked demands for stricter regulations.

In 700 districts of the French capital, including around major tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, rental scooter speeds are now capped at 10 kilometers per hour (six miles / h).

Scooters run by rental companies Dott, Tier and Lime, tracked in real time by geotagging, will automatically slow down to half of their normal top speed once they enter designated areas.

The main criterion for selecting areas was the high presence of pedestrians, operators said in a joint statement.

This included parks, gardens, streets near schools, plazas in front of public buildings and places of worship, pedestrian streets and busy shopping areas.

The death in June of a 32-year-old Italian woman hit by a scooter in a pedestrian area has prompted demands for stricter vehicle regulations.

The town hall threatened the three private operators to renew their licenses only if they progressed towards the speed limits, and also urged users to park the scooters in designated areas instead of throwing them on the streets and sidewalks at the end of the rental period.

On Monday, David Belliard, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of transport, told AFP that the new restrictions were “a first step, but far from sufficient”.

More slow-speed areas were needed, he said, including in areas where pedestrians, cyclists and scooter riders shared spaces like on the very popular banks of the Canal Saint-Martin and the Seine. , long sections of which are closed to cars. .

Each arrondissement in Paris would provide a list of desired slow zones over the next few weeks, which would be sent to operators.

The three operators have made progress in the fight against the often uncontrolled parking of scooters.

They now require users to take a photo proving they have dropped the scooter in the right place, and have also created a 12-person joint task force to pick up scooters left randomly on the street.

(AXADLETM with AFP)

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