The people of Paris have voted overwhelmingly to ban rented electric scooters from the city’s streets.
In a non-binding referendum that the French capital’s authorities said they will respect, about 90% of those who cast their vote said they wanted to banish the rental machines from roads and sidewalks across the city. Privately owned e-scooters were not part of the poll.
The result of the referendum is a setback for e-scooter operator Lime, among others, who will have to vacate the city by September when the current contract ends. Digital Trends has reached out to Lime for comment on the result of the vote and we will update this article when we hear back.
The referendum was offered to Parisians in response to concerns about an increasing number of accidents involving battery-powered scooters. In 2021 alone, Paris registered 459 accidents involving e-scooters, and three deaths, while across the entire country, in the same year, scooter accidents led to 24 deaths, Reuters reported. However, scooter operators insisted that when viewed against the total number of traffic accidents, only a very small percentage involved e-scooters.
Many residents were also fed up with some streets becoming cluttered with e-scooters parked seemingly without any care.
Paris offered permits to the first e-scooter rental services five years ago, giving folks an easy way to zip around the city. But by 2020, many people were already complaining about the rental schemes, prompting the Parisian authorities to reduce the number of operators to three.
In further efforts to get residents onside, a new rule was brought in that gave the scooters a top speed of 12.4 mph, and promises were also made to fix license plates to the vehicles so police could more easily identify riders who flouted traffic rules. But the changes failed to persuade Parisians to give the rental schemes a chance.
Now Lime and other rental firms will be waiting to see if the Paris vote prompts other towns and cities to hold similar public polls on e-scooters.
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