Parisians have voted to ban rental electric scooters in their city, dealing a blow to scooter operators and a triumph for road safety campaigners.
Almost 90% of votes cast on Sunday favoured a ban the battery-powered devices, official results showed. But under 8% of those eligible turned out to vote.
The referendum was called in response to a rising number of people being injured and killed on e-scooters in the French capital.
Of the 1.38 million people on the city’s electoral register, just over 103,000 took part, according to offical figures. Of these, over 91,300 voted against the scooters.
Paris was one of the first cities to adopt the electric vehicles – but critics argue they were causing more harm than good.
There was growing concern with the way some people were driving the scooters – weaving through traffic, dodging pedestrians on pavements, and getting up to speeds of 17mph (27km/h).
Riders often did not wear helmets and children as young as 12 could legally hire the e-scooters.
There was also criticism that groups of parked e-scooters were cluttering pavements.
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called the referendum, where voters could say if they were for or against free-floating e-scooters. Privately-owned vehicles were not part of the vote.
New laws introduced in 2019 – including a requirement to wear high visibility clothing and not ride against the traffic flow – imposed a fine of €135, and up to €1,500 for going over the speed limit.
Meanwhile, dumped scooters had also become a significant problem in Paris, with many being found in the city’s parks and squares.
A ban on parking the dockless scooters on pavements largely went unheeded despite the threat of a €35 fine.