Speed limited to 25 km / h, no traffic on sidewalks, minimum age of 12: a decree published on Friday integrates electric scooters and other “motorized personal transport devices” to the Highway Code, to frame a practice that has exploded in recent years.
These rules, in force from Saturday (or July 1, 2020 for technological aspects), were claimed by public authorities and users, facing a complicated cohabitation and more and more accidents sometimes fatal, especially in Paris, Reims, Bordeaux, in Yvelines and Pas-de-Calais.
Segways, monohulls and hoverboards also concerned
In addition to the Segway, monoroues and hoverboards, it is especially the electric scooters that are targeted. Their use has exploded in many cities in France and Europe, especially with the rise of self-service rentals (“free floating”). In Paris, there are about 15,000 electric scooters.
“There was a fundamental need to lay down rules, these vehicles existed, they were driving on the public road without a legal status,” says Inter-Ministerial Delegate for Road Safety Emmanuel Barbe.
This will “go towards a more responsible use (…) and regain a peaceful use of sidewalks for pedestrians, especially the most vulnerable: the elderly, children, people with reduced mobility,” believes Jean-Baptiste Djebbari Secretary of State for Transport, in a statement.
The maximum speed set at 25 km / h
The law now provides that these “motorized personal movement devices” (PDED) must not be able to exceed a speed of 25 km / h, while some manufacturers offered the possibility of reaching up to 80 km / h.
Driving a vehicle built to exceed 25 km / h will be punishable by 1,500 euros (3,000 euros for recidivism). If it has been unbridled, the penalty will be 135 euros.
Like bicycles, they must be equipped with front and rear position lamps, retro reflectors, a braking system and a buzzer.
– Parking allowed on sidewalks –
Finished, trips for two, sometimes with a child: the EDPMs can only carry one driver aged at least 12 years. In the event of non-compliance, one is liable to a fine of 35 euros.
Read alsoThe underside of the incredible battle of scooters in Paris
Prohibition of calling or wearing headphones
As with other vehicles, it is forbidden to phone or wear headphones while driving. They must also be insured, by the individual or the rental operator.
No more slaloms on sidewalks in the middle of pedestrians: the drivers of EDPM “must circulate on the strips or cycle tracks”, under penalty of 135 euros fine. In the absence of a bike path, they will be able to use roads limited to 50 km / h or less.
Non-motorized vehicles (classic scooters, rollerblades, skateboards …) can take the sidewalks.
PDPM circulation is prohibited on the road outside the agglomeration, except derogation.
Mayors may indeed “allow the movement of machinery on the sidewalk, provided they respect the pace of pace and do not cause discomfort to pedestrians” or “allow traffic on roads whose maximum speed allowed is less than or equal to 80 km / h “, provides the decree.
Parking allowed on the sidewalks, but …
“When traveling at night, or during the day when there is insufficient visibility,” an EDPM driver will have to wear either a high-visibility vest or retro-reflective equipment. The wearing of such equipment, as well as that of a helmet, is obligatory in the case of a circulation -authorized- out of town.
Parking on sidewalks is also allowed, as long as it does not bother pedestrians.
Without waiting for this text, some mayors have introduced stricter rules.
The City of Paris thus limited this summer the speed of electric scooters to 20 km / h (8 km / h in pedestrian areas) and prohibited their parking on sidewalks.
It will maintain these provisions, judging the decree as “a setback for the rights of pedestrians”, according to Transport Assistant Christophe Najdovski (ex-EELV).
It will even make it a criterion in the call for tenders, which will be launched in the coming days, for the awarding of the electric scooter market to three operators who will have to “commit to limit the speed of their machines to 20 km / h and mandatory parking on dedicated areas and the roadway “.