In recent years, Paris has seen an explosion in the number of companies offering short-term hire of electric scooters, known as trottinettes.
Lime, Jump, Wind, Tier and Bird are just some of the firms offering the dockless e-scooters, which users can rent for as long as they want via an app, and leave anywhere.
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Many scooters are abandoned in inappropriate places. Photo: AFP
But despite proving very popular with commuters and tourists alike, the scooters have also thrown up a host of problems.
The vehicles, which can reach top speeds of 25 mph, are supposed to be ridden on the road, but are frequently seen being driven on the pavement.
The vehicles are also often dumped in inconvenient places, blocking paths and parking spaces and even being thrown into rivers and canals.
There are currently around 15,000 scooters on the streets of Paris, but if the present growth rate continues their number will soon reach 30,000 – which the Paris mayor's office said is simply too many.
Les opérateurs de trottinettes en flotte libre signent avec la Ville de @Paris une charte de bonne conduite. Le désordre généralisé doit cesser et des règles doivent être respectées. Les trottinettes ne sont pas tolérées sur les trottoirs. pic.twitter.com/zbVBX33pY0
— Christophe Najdovski (@C_Najdovski) 13 May 2019
The bosses of the scooter firms were summoned to the mayor's office on Monday to sign a voluntary 'good conduct' agreement for their business operations.
However, if they do not abide by the agreement, they could be facing a crackdown.
“The purpose of this charter is to regulate the use of scooters,” Christophe Najdovski, the man in charge of transport at city hall, told Le Parisien.
“We provide public space. In return, we hope that operators will find solutions in terms of both traffic and parking.”
However, the companies were warned: “If self-regulation fails, we will have to temporarily ban the service, until the LOM (the new transport law currently under consideration in the French parliament) is adopted”.
Although a cheap and environmentally friendly transport option, the misuse of the scooters – especially by people riding at high speed on the pavements – has become a major bugbear for Parisians.
When The Local last wrote an article on the subject of scooters we were inundated with comments from angry pedestrians, demanding greater regulation.
Carl Barry wrote: “I nearly got knocked down a few times by nutters bombing it down the street so I would definitely be happy to see them banned.”
Dari Brg wrote: “These things are way too dangerous on the sidewalk. They also have no change direction blinkers and that's dangerous too.”
While Madeleine Barchevska added: “First time users zoom along Paris sidewalks without enough control and knowledge of the 'device' and have close calls all the time.”
France has made some efforts to control the scooters, in Paris it is already illegal to ride on the pavement – punishable with a €135 fine – while parking in a way that will obstruct pedestrians or traffic is punishable by a €35 fine.
The French government has followed suit, and last week announced a scooter ban on pavements, coming in from September 2019.