Residents of Paris have voted to ban the use of rental electric scooters throughout the city, hindering scooter operators while signaling a victory for proponents of road safety.
The ban on the battery-powered devices, which will be in place September 1, was supported by nearly 90 percent of votes cast Sunday.
Yet this data may not entirely reflect public opinion on the issue, as less than 8 percent of eligible voters took part in the vote. According to an official report, out of 1.38 million people on the city’s electoral register, just over 103,000 participated, with 91,300 people voting to ban electric scooters.
The referendum comes in response to rising numbers of e-scooter riders being injured or killed in Paris.
Although Paris was historically one of the first cities to embrace electric vehicles, many argue the negative consequences of these vehicles outweigh the benefits.
Specifically, there has been significant concern regarding the ways in which riders of electric scooters drive through traffic, endanger pedestrians and reach speeds of up to 17 mile per hour. Riders of these vehicles traditionally have not worn helmets and children as young as 12 have often been able to ride electric scooters.
A 31-year-old woman was killed in 2021 after being run over by an electric scooter with two riders.
E-scooter operators themselves have argued that these vehicles make up ma small portion of traffic accidents throughout Paris, but the city’s mayor, Anne Hidalgo, called for the referendum. She gave voters the opportunity to express their views on free-floating electric scooters.
Hidalgo supported the ban and announced the vote in January to allow citizens to determine their stances.
“It’s very expensive — five euros ($5.40) for 10 minutes – it’s not very sustainable, and above all, it’s the cause of a lot of accidents,” Hidalgo said.
A ban on the parking of dockless scooters upon pavements went largely unnoticed, even despite the ensuing €35 fine.