France bans electric foot scooters from pavements

Transport minister Elisabeth Borne has said that electric scooters will no longer be allowed on pavements

The minister for Transport has banned electric foot scooters from riding on pavements and pedestrian areas, saying that they should now use normal roads and cycling lanes.

Elisabeth Borne announced the new measure in the Assemblée Nationale this week, after having confirmed in September that the new 2019 mobility law (la Loi d’Orientation des Mobilités) would contain regulation on electric scooters.

New personal mobility vehicles - of which electric foot scooters will be part - will be subject to a “new category of vehicle” within the highway code, Ms Borne said.

The vehicles are also known as "kick" or "push" scooters, and as "trottinettes électriques" in French.

In 2017, 286 people were injured and five people killed in accidents involving scooters, representing a rise of 23% compared to previous years.

Ms Borne said: “We cannot allow these vehicles, going at 20 or 30 kph, risking the safety of pedestrians on pavements. We are going to create a new vehicle category. These vehicles will be permitted to ride on roads, cycling lanes, or in 30kph zones, but not on pavements.”

She added: “An innovation is only positive if it is developed in context, allowing everyone to benefit, from the safety of pedestrians as much as for users.”

The minister also announced a new framework for “free floating” vehicles, such as for-hire bikes that do not have hire “station” hubs. These are increasingly being abandoned in pedestrian areas, Ms Borne said.

To address this, the new vehicle laws will also create a new framework for “free-floating” vehicles, adding that the government would allow “local associations to define a their own specifications for the development of these new services”.

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