Paris votes to ban rental e-scooters in referendum

3 Apr 2023

Image: © goodman_ekim/

Critics including mayor Anne Hidalgo argue e-scooters cause too many accidents and deaths on the roads.

The city of Paris has voted to ban rental e-scooters from its streets after many raised concerns the battery-operated devices were unsafe as a mode of transport and causing a nuisance on the roads.

Nearly 90pc of votes cast in a referendum yesterday (2 April) favoured a ban on the 15,000-odd e-scooters on the streets of Paris as the city’s authorities sought public opinion on the matter.

Only about 8pc of those eligible to vote turned up.

This means many of the mainly young users of e-scooters made by micromobility companies such as Lime, Dott and Tier were likely not represented adequately in the vote, despite efforts on the parts of the companies to urge younger people to take part in the referendum.

Paris was one of the first major European cities to adopt e-scooters. Soon after, regulations began to pile up with the introduction of speed limits, safety measures and parking fines.

New rules were introduced in 2019 after hundreds of incidents and multiple deaths, including requiring riders to be at least 12 years of age, allowing only one rider per e-scooter and a ban on using the electric vehicles on pavements.

The latest referendum, spearheaded by Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, will mean all e-scooter companies operating in the city will have to pull their fleets from the streets by 1 September. Privately owned vehicles were, however, not a part of the vote.

“I’m committed to respecting the choice of voters, purely and simply,” Hidalgo told reporters as she placed her own vote. “It’s very expensive – five euros for 10 minutes – it’s not very sustainable, and above all, it’s the cause of a lot of accidents.”

The move will likely have a ripple effect across other cities in Europe, where similar concerns around road safety have been raised while operators argue e-scooters make up only a small portion of accidents in cities.

When e-scooter regulation was published in Ireland two years ago, several micromobility start-ups said they were eyeing the Irish market. However, a policy plan published last year indicates that e-scooter operators will have to wait until later this year to get the green light to launch in Ireland.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic