In the wake of accidents, including a fatal one, and frequent complaints about speeding e-scooters in pedestrian walks, Paris is instituting an automatic slowdown on the popular devices in large parts of the city.
Officials have designated 700 zones around the city, mostly areas with heavy pedestrian traffic including around the Louvre and Eiffel Tower, where the speed limit for scooters will drop from 20 kilometres per hour to 10, a bit above walking speed.
The speed limit will be enforced by GPS tracking of the scooters, which will be automatically slowed down when they enter the designated zone. Enforcing the new system is a condition of approving license renewals for the three companies—Dott, Tier and Lime—who are allowed to operate in the city.
The renewal conditions also address another major scooter annoyance; many riders in the past have simply abandoned them on sidewalks, in front of buildings, and almost anywhere except the designated parking areas. Riders will now be required to take a photo of the scooter properly parked or pay an extra fee, and the three companies have set up a joint task force to pick up scooters that are improperly parked.