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E-scooter rider killed in Paris as city weighs ban

An electric scooter rider in Paris was killed after colliding with a truck on Thursday, police said, days before Mayor Anne Hidalgo decides on whether to outlaw e-scooter rental fleets.

Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told AFP on Thursday that while they were still discussing the problem, Hidalgo was leaning towards a ban that would make Paris one of just a few major cities to outlaw free-float e-scooter fleets.

Accidents have climbed as the popularity of the devices has soared, with 22 deaths in Paris last year, up from seven in 2020.

Like many big cities, Paris is wrestling with how to enforce safe practices for the zippy devices, promoted as a non-polluting alternative to cars or crowded public transport.

Critics say riders show only cursory respect for the rules of the road and regularly defy bans on riding on sidewalks, not to mention inconsiderate parking or scooters abandoned in parks or tossed into the Seine river.

The French capital cracked down a few years ago by limiting the number of operators to just three — Dott, Lime and Tier — and the total number of scooters to 15,000.

But in September, officials gave the companies one month to come up with measures to limit reckless riding and other “misuses” or risk a loss of their licences.