The number of electric scooter related deaths and serious accidents is swelling in France, leading the government to pass a new law that has raised the minimum legal age for riding one of these vehicles to 14.
10 riders of motorised personal transport, a group of vehicles including electric scooters, died in the month of July alone in France, taking the death toll so far this year to 41. July also saw 53 riders seriously injured.
Beneath these grim figures lies another very serious problem: the steady rise of the use and popularity of electric scooters, monowheels, gyropods and hoverboards amongst young people; vehicles that all relatively unregulated.
MINIMUM LEGAL AGE INCREASES
Now the French Ministry of Transport has stepped in “to protect, deter and avoid dangerous behaviour” by changing the minimum age to ride one of these vehicles from 12 to 14 years of age. The law also coincides with the legal age in France to drive a moped or voiturette.
First presented in March of this year, the new law has since passed and was published in France’s Official Journal on 1st September.
FINES TO RISE TOO
The new decree also allows for more stringent fines for those who transport passengers on e-scooters and the like – vehicles designated for personal use only – to discourage the practice. The government is also toughening its stance on those who drive on prohibited roadways, such as urban motorways.
The fines have increased significantly from a not-so-bad €35 to €135, which is hopefully enough to make people think twice. This now rivals the €135 fine for driving on pavements, which is already in effect, except in the cases where mayors specifically authorise it.
In towns and cities, scooters must remain on cycle paths and lanes. If there is no such lane, they can be on roads with maximum speed limits of 50km/h or less. Outside urban areas, they must use greenways and cycle paths.
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Photo source: Eduardo Alvarado, Unsplash