Paris public park up e-scooters
Pressure building on the future of popular two-wheeled transport
Residents in Paris have voted overwhelmingly in favour of banning rental e-scooters.
The official vote came amid growing safety concerns, with 459 injuries and three deaths in the city last year.
There were also problems with abandoned scooters littering public streets and pavements.
Paris parks up
Over 90% of the residents who voted in the French capital were in favour of a ban.
In the UK, an IAM RoadSmart report surveying the views of more than 2,000 UK motorists also found that e-scooters are increasingly unpopular.
More than two thirds (68%) of respondents to its poll said they would support a law totally banning e-scooters.
The same proportion (68%) also stated that the growing number of e-scooters on the roads is a threat to their road safety. Three quarters (74%) of those over 70-years-old being the age group feeling most threatened by the device, compared to more than half (59%) of 17–34-year-olds.
However, not all of those who feel under threat by e-scooters are calling for a blanket ban. Instead, they call for smarter and stronger ways for them to be used more safely.
The government has still failed to regulate the devices, though they are illegal to ride in any public place other than defined trial areas. That has not stopped them from becoming common place across the country, ridden by all age groups from school age kids to pensioners.
86% of those surveyed state they are in support of tougher regulation of the devices rather than a ban.
This includes a law restricting e-scooters to cycle lanes only, enforcing age limits on those who are allowed to use them and introducing strict design and construction standards.
The results come after the latest Department for Transport (DfT) statistics revealed that there were 1,434 casualties involving e-scooters in Britain in 2021. Ten people were killed.
This compares to 484 casualties involving e-scooters in 2020, meaning casualties have almost tripled in just 12 months.
Time for change
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at IAM RoadSmart says the “people of Paris voiced their opinions on e-scooters loud and clear”.
He adds that “our research demonstrates that British road users have similar concerns to our French counterparts”.
“We still await the Transport Bill, meaning there is still no regulation of these vehicles, which can go up to 30mph in some cases.
“Given the number of collisions we have seen on our roads and pavements involving e-scooters since they have been introduced, the concerns of the public are more than understandable.
“The Government must act faster to regulate e-scooters before more injuries are sustained and lives are tragically lost.
“In the meantime, we would encourage those who wish to use rental e-scooters to ride with caution, vigilance and due attention, keeping themselves, other motorists and pedestrians safe.”
New safety and technical standards were recommended for e-scooters last month, after the increase in deaths and serious injuries.
They included a 20km/h (12.5mph) factory-set speed limit, a ban on passengers and pavement riding, compulsory helmets and a minimum age of 16.
The recommendations were set out in a new report from the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC) and the UK Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS).