“The minimum age for using an electric scooter will be raised from 12 to 14 years old” announces Clément Beaune

Appeared only a few years ago in the urban landscape, scooters divide. Dangerous for some, they are useful for others. To the point of provoking votes as is the case in Paris, where the Town Hall organizes a vote to determine whether they should be maintained or outright banned in the capital. It is in this context that Clément Beaune, Minister Delegate, in charge of Transport, announced on March 5, a national regulatory action plan which he must present this Wednesday to operators, elected officials and associations of victims and Security road. Exclusively for 20 minutesit reveals the main measures.

The 2019 mobility orientation law aimed to regulate new forms of transport. Why present new measures specific to scooters this Wednesday?

It is a mode of transport chosen by nearly 2.5 million French people today. Faced with such enthusiasm, and at the request of road safety associations, families of victims but also local elected officials and parliamentarians, we have worked to provide local authorities with new tools for managing mobility. Self-service scooters are available in more than 200 cities in France and used daily by 100,000 people, a figure that is constantly increasing, we had to strengthen the regulation of these machines.

How do you intend to proceed?

We structure this plan around three main areas: Regulation, user awareness and operator commitments. First, a reinforced regulatory framework with new measures. For example, the minimum age for using an electric scooter on public roads will be raised from a minimum of 12 years to 14 years to protect the youngest. Sanctions will also be increased to prevent dangerous behavior. The fines which sanction the circulation with two on a machine and on the prohibited ways will pass from 35 euros to 135 euros. We know that in one out of five accidents, the users were two on the machine, it is important to make it clear that it is not a toy.

Is it on this point that you want to educate users?

Yes, for this we are going to develop prevention campaigns on risks in particular. Raising awareness also involves training and good communication on the dangers. But not only. This is why we are going to create a national observatory of these “micro-mobilities”. An organization, bringing together members from all sides, political, associative and professional, to produce objective knowledge on the use of electric scooters in France. There is a lack of transparency and objectivity on these subjects in general. This observatory will allow us to have figures on accidentology, to know the causes. But also on the environmental benefits. This will help us to develop our regulatory framework and to have a better vision.

What role can operators have in this plan?

The regulatory framework and the evolution of uses cannot take place without them. By definition, they have a control that cannot be imposed on private scooters. They can impose the restriction of speed, the registration of machines, systematically check the age of users, report violations. They must help us make scooters, a more regulated means of mobility. This is why, on Wednesday, they are signing a charter which will commit them to improving the safety of all users, but also the guarantee of an environmentally friendly service with work on the life of the batteries. a minimum of five years, as imposed by the city of Lyon for example, and compulsory recycling in France.

Scooters are often accused of cluttering public space, have you taken this into account?

Yes, both in terms of regulations and operator commitments. It is both a problem of security, aesthetics and management of public space. We will therefore impose a double crutch and respect for the parking limits.

This also imposes greater control on the part of the authorities, and in particular the police. A request often repeated by operators…

It will not have escaped you that the police forces are already very much in demand, in general and particularly at this time. This is why operators must play the game and apply measures, such as verifying the age of users, for example, which make it possible to limit fraudulent use upstream. They can also sanction by exclusion certain criminal behaviors. But yes, it is also up to the police, mainly municipal since it is a territorial responsibility, to apply control and sanctions.

Wearing a compulsory helmet is not part of the measures. This seems surprising in view of the security imperative that you put forward, doesn’t it?

The reflection remains open: for the moment, we have chosen not to impose it, but it is strongly recommended and our communication campaigns will repeat it. But what applies to scooters, also applies to bicycles. We would then change the level of regulation. And like any obligation, you have to be able to have it accepted, to have it respected and to have it sanctioned, but we can see how difficult it is for thousands of uses.

And we shouldn’t either, I assume, restrict more ecological modes of transport in the city. We have 20% of scooter users who give up a polluting mode of transport, this is an evolution that should not be padlocked.

The timing of the presentation of this national action plan on scooters raises questions. Is this related to the vote on maintaining or banning scooters organized in Paris this Sunday?

I launched this work several months ago, last fall, well before the announcement of this vote. Things have accelerated in recent weeks, also at the request of families and parliamentarians. I respect the communities which have the right to choose the prohibition or the use and to define a certain number of rules.

But this announcement still interferes in the Parisian debate…

I very much regret that the debate is being caricatured. Besides, there aren’t really any in Paris. This vote, a first in nine years, leaves little mystery about its outcome since the city has already said that it wants the ban. I find it unfortunate that we discard the option chosen by many cities, which is: “for but with more rules”. It is not proposed in this binary referendum! I’m just a little surprised that a city that has put 15,000 self-service scooters on its own should fail and say “we have no other way but a ban”. Especially since it does not solve the subject of private scooters, which are more and more numerous.

We lend you ambitions for the City of Paris in 2026. This subject should not leave you indifferent?

This is not the time nor the subject, but a transport minister who is not interested in the subject would be a bad minister. I work for all cities.

I also assume a Parisian commitment. I ran for office less than a year ago in my city and was elected. So I go to my constituency every week and I follow all the subjects. Scooters but also many others. I work for all the towns in France, but I will always express myself and commit myself to Paris.

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