First e-scooter death in France

The first fatal road accident involving an electric scooter is being investigated by Paris police after a 25-year-old rider died in a collision with a van.

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The van driver was found to have taken drugs but the scooter rider had ignored priority rules at the junction in the 18th arrondissement.

He was not wearing a helmet.

Complaints have been growing about the 25kph public-hire scooters. Paris has 15,000 of them now, for use via smartphone apps by 12 firms.

One major issue is the way they can be left anywhere and so are found dumped on pavements.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo has now banned them on pavements and in parks from July 1, with fines of €135 for riding on pavements. The scooters have been a big success since they were introduced a year ago but have been abandoned on pavements across the country, with MPs and local councils trying to control usage.

New rules from September confine them to cycle paths and roads, limit speed to 25kph with a €1,500 penalty fine for non-compliance, impose lights front and back, and say under-12s must wear helmets.

Parking after use remains “free-floating” but it must be somewhere that is safe and does not obstruct other street users.

If the law is not respected, the last user is liable for a penalty.

As frustration has grown, jokes have started online – such as robot rover Curiosity hitting three dumped scooters on Mars, or plans for pogo-stick services.