The micromobility industry has welcomed the French Transport Ministry’s new national plan to regulate the use of electric scooters.
The measures include raising the minimum age for riders from 12 to 14, adding licence plates to e-scooters, increasing fines for dangerous behaviour and creating a National Micromobility Observatory.
“We welcome the regulation plan proposed by the Minister of Transport,” Erwann Le Page, Tier’s Public Policy Director, told Zag Daily. “Since 2019, France has taken the lead in terms of mobility and continues to keep the highest standards with this national plan.”
Nicolas Gorse, Dott’s Chief Business Officer, said: “We support the Minister’s proposals, and welcome collaboration which will progress e-scooter regulation, improving the experience for users and all city residents.
“Our services are already only available to those over 18, and licence plates are already in place across our vehicles in Paris, Grenoble and Lyon.”
French Transport Minister Clément Beaune said the new plan is a result of months of dialogue with users, operators, families of accident victims, local authorities, parliamentarians, and associations.
“I have listened to the doubts, concerns and proposals of all the actors to take the heat out of the debate and propose a strengthening of the regulatory framework,” said Beaune.
According to the Minister, difficulties in the development of new forms of mobility do not justify “abandoning a service that supports freedom and our environmental objectives”.
“Equipped with regulatory measures and strong commitments from operators, this plan will improve the safety of users and other road users, ensure better integration into public space, and strengthen the environmental performance of these mobility options.”
Beaune referred to Le Havre and Lyon as examples of where local regulation has allowed the development of electric scooter use in a controlled and harmonious way.
Beaune criticised the Paris debate on e-scooters to the local press.
“I find it unfortunate that we discard the option chosen by many cities, which is: ‘for e-scooters, but with more rules’. It is not proposed in this binary referendum!,” said the Minister.
“!I’m just a little surprised that a city that has put 15,000 self-service scooters on its own should fail and say ‘we have no other way but a ban’. Especially since it does not solve the subject of private scooters, which are more and more numerous.”
Gorse commented: “We fully support the comments from Beaune that the debate has been simplified, and is missing a choice of ‘for, with more regulation’.”
Le Page said: “We always advocate for better regulation, instead of a ban. We sincerely hope that this choice Parisians will make on Sunday is to vote to keep e-scooters in the capital.”
The six measures proposed in the new plan focus on avoiding dangerous rider behaviour, raising public awareness and holding operators accountable.
Besides raising the minimum age, new rules increase fines from 35 to 135 euros for transporting another passenger in one vehicle or riding on roads that are prohibited. Riding a model that reaches over 25 km/h will result in a €1,500 fine.
The plan proposes a National Observatory of Micromobility to produce knowledge and insight on the use of electric scooters in France, their accident rate and environmental impact.
This observatory will provide local authorities with reports that can inform public policies on the use of motorised personal transport devices.
Many of these rules echo the Paris operators Dott, Lime and Tier joint proposal last November.
The three operators, as well as Bird, Bolt, Pony, Superpedestrian, Voi and the associations Alliance des Mobilites and Mobilians, signed a commitment letter to ensure good practices.