France introduced new regulations on e-scooters this week.
The battery-powered, motorised vehicles have been the subject of heated debate across Europe amidst reports of multiple accidents. The country is now imposing a speed limit of 25 kilometres per hour on the vehicles with a fine of €1500 for people possessing e-scooters capable of a higher speed limit. The new changes to France’s driving code incorporate a minimum age of 12-years-old in order to drive an e-scooter. The changes also apply to hoverboards, segways, and “Solowheels”. Other key changes include a ban on multiple passengers on e-scooters with a possible fine of €35 for transporting another passenger and prohibiting motorised scooters from circulating on the pavement.
Germany legalised e-scooters in May but also banned them from travelling on the pavement. In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to ride e-scooters on pavements, public roads or in cycle lanes. In France now, if you ride on the pavement with an e-scooter, you will be charged a €135 fine. People owning these motorised personal vehicles have until July 1, 2020, to ensure their vehicle has front and rear position lamps, reflectors, a type of bell and a braking system. Designed to be an environmentally-friendly way of travelling around a city, a study released in August found that they could be worse for the environment than taking a bus or riding a bike due to their manufacture, collection and distribution.
Will Gibraltar be next? It is clear there needs some regulation and as a law firm even we realise too much is like cracking an egg with a hammer but anyone that has walked or driven in Gibraltar has probably come close to being hit or hitting one of these vehicles. What do you think? Pavement ban? Outright ban? No ban at all live and let live?