Paris votes on whether to ban rental e-scooters

Paris is voting on whether to ban rental e-scooters across the city.

Self-hire e-scooters were first introduced to the French capital in 2018 as a greener alternative to cars and the public transport network.

But an increased number of accidents and "irresponsible use" has seen Mayor Anne Hidalgo call a referendum on whether they should stay.

On Sunday, Parisians can vote on the issue at 203 polling stations across 21 locations until 7pm local time (6pm UK).

Although the result is not legally binding, Ms Hidalgo has promised to honour the result.

Social media influencers have stepped up efforts to get young people to vote against the ban in recent days.

They argue that they provide a safer and quicker way of travelling home late at night in the absence of a night service on the Paris metro.

Strikes against Emmanuel Macron's pension reforms are also making public transport increasingly unreliable, they add.

The city's 15,000-strong fleet of rental e-scooters are provided by Tier, Lime and Dott.

Calls to improve safety have forced them to cap the overall number, impose automatic speed restrictions in certain areas, and fines for leaving them abandoned in undesignated spaces.

They are widely used, with each e-scooter picked up an average of 3.5 times a day, according to official figures.

Deaths linked to e-scooters

Three deaths and 459 injuries were attributed to e-scooters in Paris in 2022, compared to one fatality and 353 injuries in 2021.

Ms Hidalgo told France 2 previously: "We can't contain them in public spaces and they're causing road safety problems, especially for older and disabled people."

The vote is taking place on the same day as the Paris marathon, with those against the ban fearful that this will reduce turnout.