First electric scooter death in Paris as controversy rages

Paris (AFP) – A man died in Paris after his electric scooter collided using a lorry, sources said Tuesday, the first such fatality involving the increasingly-well-known devices inside the French capital as concern grows over their safety.

The 25-year-old was riding the scooter inside the bustling Goutte d’Or neighbourhood inside the north of the city when the accident happened late Monday.

He was rushed to hospital where he died of his injuries, the Paris emergency services said.

The lorry driver has been detained with prosecutors opening an investigation into “involuntary homicide”.

A source close to the case, who asked not to be named, said the lorry driver had priority on the road at the time.

in which was the first deadly accident involving an electric scooter within the city limits, police as well as the mayor’s office confirmed.

According to press reports, an 81-year-old man died in April in Levallois-Perret outside Paris, days after being knocked over by an electric scooter.

– ‘Totally anarchic’ –

Just a year after they first appeared on the Paris streets, mushrooming electric scooters have become a gigantic headache for the Paris authorities who are currently rushing to implement some kind of framework for their use.

Monday’s deadly accident has “underlined the need to emphasise the elementary rules in which users must respect,” deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told AFP.

“The police need to act to penalise users who, for example, cross a red light,” he said.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo had on Thursday announced a ban on parking electric scooters on the pavement as well as said their speed on roads should be limited to 20 kilometres per hour (12 miles per hour).

Paris has already introduced fines of 135 euros ($150) for riding electric scooters on the pavement.

Fans have embraced scooters as a quick as well as cheap way to get around since the “dockless” devices are unlocked using a phone app as well as can be left anywhere when a ride will be finished.

although critics say they are a grave safety risk both for users as well as pedestrians while scooters strewn randomly across the city have also become an eyesore.

French Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne on Tuesday said she was in favour of fresh mobility options although admitted the development of the scooter market was “totally anarchic, as well as This particular poses safety problems”.

She said legislation would certainly be inside the pipeline later This particular year to provide a framework on rules for scooter usage.

although the government was still against producing in which obligatory to wear a helmet on a scooter or on a bicycle for the over 12s, she said.

“The French are tired of having obligations imposed on them. What we recommend will be a helmet will be worn as well as everyone takes their responsibility,” she said.

The mobility benefits of scooters, as well as the dangers inherent in using them, will be producing their increasing popularity an issue not just in France although across Europe.

Germany in May authorised battery-powered scooters on its streets as well as cycle paths although banned them by pavements to protect pedestrians.

Also in May, a young man aged 27 died after being hit by a car while riding an electric scooter just after they were launched inside the Swedish city of Helsingborg.

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