Man dies in first fatal scooter road crash in Paris
Paris police are investigating the first ever fatal road accident involving an electric scooter in the capital after a 25-year-old man died in a collision with a van this week.
The van driver is in police custody, and an inquiry into the charge of “involuntary homicide”, or manslaughter, has been set up by Paris prosecutors.
The accident happened on Monday June 10, towards 22h30 in the 18th arrondissement, in the Goutte d’Or neighbourhood. Police confirmed that the electric scooter user had failed to give way to the oncoming van, which hit him.
The 25-year-old user later died from his injuries in hospital.
The road accident comes barely two months after a pedestrian in their 80s was knocked over and killed by an electric scooter in Levallois-Perret (Hauts-de-Seine) in April.
Emmanuel Grégoire, first assistant mayor of Paris, said: “[This shows] the need for electric scooter users to remember basic rules. The national police must be allowed to punish users who, for example, run red lights.”
The incident also comes in the same week as mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has introduced new legislation on electric scooters, which began appearing on the city’s streets last year. There are now around 20,000 in use, estimates suggest.
Measures include a ban on stopping on pavements and a maximum speed limit of 20 kph.
Nationally, MPs have also discussed ways to improve the safety and rules of electric scooter use.
Transport minister Elisabeth Borne said: “I am. in principle, in favour of the development of new forms of transport. [But the development] has been totally anarchic, which has caused safety issues.”
The Assemblée Nationale is expected to discuss further rules on scooter use in the coming months, including laws on safety lights, maximum speed, and formally banning them from pavements and pedestrianised zones.
The incident also comes after MPs voted not to make it mandatory for push bike and electric scooter users (aged 12 and over) to wear helmets in France. Ms Borne said: “The French public are fed up with us imposing obligations on them.”
But LREM MP and emergency doctor Thomas Mesnier disagreed, saying he was “shocked” by some of the arguments on the issue. At the time, he said: “We are here to be responsible, and ensure the safety of the French public.”
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