Referendum in France: Parisians voted against electric skateboard rentals

Parisians voted in favor of banning electric scooter rentals (REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier) (SARAH MEYSSONNIER/)

Paris voted this Sunday by an overwhelming majority in favor of banning rental electric skateboards on the streets of the French capitalwhich is a heavy blow for operators and a victory for road safety advocates.

Results from the Paris mayor’s office showed that almost 90% of the votes in a citywide referendum had been cast against rental e-scooters, a decision the mayor Anne Hidalgo has promised to respect

Nearly 1.4 million voters were called to vote this Sunday to answer an unusual question that generates as much passion as hate: Are you for or against electric scooters for rent in the city?

Introduced a little over five years ago as an efficient and low-pollution form of transport, the 15,000 rental scooters scattered throughout the capital have overwhelmed local authorities. If they are a clear success among the young population, it is also true that the number of accidents has exploded.

Skateboards (rental or private) were involved in 459 accidents in 2022, with three deaths and 426 injuries (double the number of injuries than in 2019)according to figures from the City Council, headed by Hidalgo.

Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris (Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS)
Anne Hidalgo, mayor of Paris (Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS) (POOL/)

The images of scooters (rental or private) violating all kinds of traffic regulations (more than one person on board, with small children at the controls, jumping red lights…) are the daily bread in Paris, where Local media and forums on social networks spread videos with dangerous actions.

One of the incidents that caused the most impact was the fatal hit-and-run in June 2021 of a 31-year-old woman who was walking along the banks of the Seine with a friend, and who was hit by a scooter with two other women on board, who hit each other. on the run

“In addition, they dirty public space (many times they are left lying anywhere) and create a continuous feeling of insecurity,” he said. Belliardmaking clear his opposition to this means of transport.

Although the City Council had the power not to renew the concessions to companies, which expire on August 31, it preferred to organize a citizen vote to mitigate the current “democratic mistrust” in the institutions.

For the right-wing opposition, the referendum was intended to make up the traffic chaos that Paris is experiencing due to the combination of scooters, bikes, motorcycles and cars, often coinciding on the same road, despite the City Council’s efforts to perpetuate new bicycle lanes ( It’s already 200 kilometers).

The use of scooters increased traffic accidents in Paris (REUTERS / Nacho Doce)
The use of scooters increased traffic accidents in Paris (REUTERS/Nacho Doce) (NACHO DOCE/)

The French government of Emmanuel Macron has also wanted to have weight in the local controversy, through the Minister of Transport, the Parisian Clement Beaunewho is speculated to be interested in running for mayor of the capital in the next municipal elections.

Beaune announced this week that a national regulation is being prepared that includes the minimum age of 14 years (currently 12) to drive an electric scooter and fines of 135 euros for traffic violations.

“This regulation arrives late and has some very soft measures,” criticized Belliard, who stresses that announcing sanctions is one thing, and putting them into practice is another, alluding to the lack of police officers for traffic issues.

Meanwhile, the three rental companies present in Paris (Lime, Tier and Voi) have also entered the campaign by associating themselves with certain influencers, who highlight the practicality and affordability of this means of transport (prices between 15 and 25 euro cents per minute).

With information from AFP and EFE

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