PARIS: The city of Paris cracked down on e-scooter speed on Thursday (Nov 25), saying rented scooters would be capped at 10 kilometres per hour except on major streets and cycling paths.
Under pressure from the authorities to slow the popular urban vehicles down, rental operators had earlier this month designated 700 areas in the capital where scooter speed would be cut automatically to barely above walking speed, notably around key tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum.
But David Belliard, deputy mayor in charge of transport, rejected the suggestion, telling AFP it could create a "Parisian patchwork" that would be difficult to understand for e-scooter users.
Instead, he said the new speed limit would apply to all residential and side streets.
The current speed limit of 20 kilometres per hour would in future apply only in cycling lanes and wider streets linking Paris neighbourhoods as well as bus lanes that were already authorised for cyclists.
Scooters rented out by operators Dott, Tier and Lime in Paris are tracked in real time by geo-location and can be slowed down remotely in designated areas.
The new rules, to come into force by mid-December, would only apply to rental scooters, not those owned privately, Belliard said.
Early reactions from Parisians were mixed. A luxury store employee, Marjorie, said the move "was good news for the security of pedestrians".
But a retired woman said "this is still not enough", telling AFP that e-scooters are "extremely dangerous".
E-scooters have been involved in 298 accidents Paris this year, causing two deaths and 329 injuries. In 2020, there were 375 accidents and one death.
The three operators have meanwhile started making 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.