Paris threatens e-scooter ban after woman’s death

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionAuthorities in Paris have warned e-scooter providers they could lose their licences over safety issues

Paris has threatened to ban self-service electric scooters unless safety issues are addressed after the death of a woman struck on the pavement.

Private companies leasing e-scooters in the French capital have been told to limit the speed of the devices and not to provide parking spaces on footpaths.

Earlier this month, a 31-year-old woman died after she was knocked down by an e-scooter rider while walking in Paris.

Police have charged a suspect with manslaughter over her death.

E-scooters have become a popular mode of transport, in part because of their low environmental impact, and rental schemes now operate in more than 100 cities around the world.

In Paris, about 20,000 of the two-wheeled vehicles – which can travel at more than 50km/h (30mph) – are now available for hire.

In 2019, the French government introduced rules after hundreds of incidents, including several deaths. Riders are now required to be aged 12 or above, only one rider is permitted per device and scooters are not allowed to be used on the pavement.

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On Tuesday, Paris's deputy mayor David Belliard said contracts for self-service e-scooter providers would not be renewed next year unless there was a "significant improvement in the situation and scooters find their place in public space without causing disturbance or additional danger".

Mr Belliard has told operators to limit the speed to a maximum of 10km/h to create "slow zones" where there are often large numbers of pedestrians, Le Parisien reported.

It comes after an Italian woman, named only as Miriam, was hit by an electric scooter while walking in a pedestrianised area near the River Seine in the early hours of Monday 14 June. She fell and hit her head on the pavement, suffering a cardiac arrest.

Divers from the river police patrolling the Seine gave her emergency medical treatment and managed to restart her heart after 30 minutes. She was taken unconscious to hospital, where she remained in a coma until her death two days later.

Two people were riding the scooter at the time of the collision, one of whom – a young female nurse – has been charged with aggravated manslaughter after fleeing the scene, police said.

image copyrightGetty Imagesimage captionLaws introduced in 2019 were aimed at preventing e-scooter riders from using Paris pavements

The laws introduced in 2019 – which include the requirement to wear high visibility clothing and not ride against the flow and traffic – risk a fine of €135 (£116), and up to €1,500 for going over the speed limit.

Meanwhile, dumped scooters have also become a significant problem in Paris, with many being found in the city's parks and squares.

A ban on parking the dockless scooters on pavements has largely gone unheeded despite the threat of a €35 fine.

Some are also being thrown in the River Seine, leading some firms to salvage discarded scooters to try to recycle them where possible.

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