PARIS (Reuters) – A 25-year-old man on an electric scooter has died after being hit by a van in Paris in the first deadly collision with a vehicle since they appeared on the streets of the French capital a year ago.
Paris has seen a string of accidents involving the rentable motorized stand-up scooters, seen widely across the city, prompting pushes from the authorities to limit their use and speed to improve safety.
A police spokeswoman said the man was hit in the Goutte d’Or neighborhood of the 18th arrondissement late on Monday. He died in hospital just after midnight.
Radio Europe 1, which first reported the accident, said the scooter had been removed by the time police arrived on the scene, hence it was not known which operator was involved.
Twelve companies including California’s Lime and Bird operate close to 20,000 dockless scooters in the city.
Scooters users are supposed to use bike lanes, but many ride in car lanes, weaving in an out of traffic, usually without high-visibility clothing or helmets.
There are frequent reports of pedestrians being hit despite a ban on riding them on sidewalks and more than 1,000 fines issued by police over the past months.
In April, a man in his 80s died after being knocked over in the suburb of Levallois-Perret.
Last week, Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo said that from July 1, scooters – called trottinettes in French – would be banned from parking on the sidewalks and that their maximum speed would be limited to 20 kph.
Once a new law on mobility comes into force after summer, the city plans to launch a tender offer which will limit the number of scooter operators to three.
Reporting by Geert De Clercq; Editing by Alison Williams