Except on main streets, Paris slows down e-scooters.

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Except on main streets, Paris slows down e-scooters.

On Thursday, the mayor of Paris imposed a speed limit on hired e-scooters, limiting them to 10 kilometres (six miles) per hour except on main streets and cycle lanes.

Rental companies designated 700 areas in the capital earlier this month where scooter speed would be automatically reduced to barely above walking speed, notably around key tourist attractions such as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre museum, in response to government pressure to slow down the popular urban vehicles.

However, David Belliard, the deputy mayor in charge of transportation, dismissed the idea, telling AFP that it could result in a “Parisian patchwork” that e-scooter riders would find difficult to grasp.

Instead, he stated that the increased speed limit would be enforced on all residential and side streets.

The present 20 km/h speed limit would be limited to bicycle lanes and broader roadways connecting Paris neighborhoods, as well as bus lanes that were already designated for cyclists.

Scooters rented out in Paris by Dott, Tier, and Lime are geo-located in real time and can be slowed down remotely in specific zones.

The new laws, which are expected to take effect in mid-December, will only apply to rental scooters, not those owned privately, according to Belliard.

Parisians’ initial reactions were divided. Marjorie, a luxury store employee, said the relocation “was wonderful news for pedestrian security.”

However, a retired woman told AFP that “this is still not enough,” and that e-scooters are “very unsafe.”

This year, e-scooters were engaged in 298 accidents in Paris, resulting in two deaths and 329 injuries. There were 375 accidents and one death in 2020.

In the meantime, the three operators have begun to make progress in tackling the typically chaotic parking of scooters.

They now demand users to snap a photo showing that they dropped off the scooter in the correct location, and they’ve formed a 12-person task force to collect scooters left on the street at random.

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