VIDEO: Riding on pavements, blocking cyclists - the tweets that show why Paris is fed up with scooter riders

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VIDEO: Riding on pavements, blocking cyclists - the tweets that show why Paris is fed up with scooter riders
Sensible transport alternative or dangerous and annoying? Photo: AFP

With public transport services running a skeleton service during the strikes and the streets of Paris choked with traffic, a motorbike or scooter seems to be a sensible way of getting around - but some anti-social riders are making themselves seriously unpopular with their fellow Parisians.


Ongoing transport strikes are seeing many people who normally take the Metro or the tram walking or cycling to work - which puts them square in the path of scooter riders.

Two-wheeled scooters or motorbikes have long been a favoured solution to Paris' famously gridlocked streets, but over the years scooter riders have earned themselves quite a reputation for anti-social behaviour.

From riding on pavements and in bike lanes to inappropriate parking and some seriously dangerous riding, one Twitter account is on a mission to expose the worst scooter behaviour.

The account Ras le Scoot (from the French phrase ras-le-bol, meaning to be fed up with something) features photos and videos of some of the worst incidents in the French capital.

The account described itself as a "group of ordinary citizens who want to stop the nuisance of motorised two-wheelers". Here are some of the frequent problems they document.


Anyone who has tried to find a parking space in Paris will understand the desperation that soon descends, but some scooter owners seem to take a more casual approach to where they leave their machines.


And apparently signage does not help.


Riding in cycle lanes

Anyone cycling in Paris, particularly during rush hour, is a pretty brave individual, given the reputation of the city's drivers.

But at least in more and more places there are cycle lanes, giving them some protection from cars. Although not, apparently, from some scooter riders who seem to think that the lanes are for them too.


This rider gets a few well-deserved hand gestures


Riding on the pavement

Pavements/sidewalks are - fairly unambiguously, one would think - for pedestrians.

There was a brief period when uncertainly in the law meant that electric scooters, or trottinettes, might be allowed on the pavements, but that loophole has now been closed and pavements are very much reserved for people on two feet. The only time it is acceptable to be travelling on wheels on the pavement is if you  are a wheelchair user or a baby in a buggy.

But that hasn't put off these scooter riders who find the roads a little too crowded.


Here one receives a stern telling off from a woman out walking with a small child.


Dangerous riding

And some scooter riders move from the anti-social to the plain dangerous - both for themselves and for other road users.

This mum was walking her two-year-old daughter to nursery when they encountered a speeding scooter rider on the pavement.


This scooter narrowly avoids a head-on collision after riding the wrong way up a cycle lane.


This pedestrian looks rather shaken as a scooter passes straight over the pedestrian crossing at speed, not even slowing down, never mind stopping.


And this woman has filed a criminal complaint saying that her bike was badly damaged by a scooter rider


Ras le Scoot is also running a petition calling for a crackdown on scooter riders who persistently flout the rules of the road.


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Anonymous 2019/12/16 21:42
I find it shocking that the authorities don't take this issue more seriously - not just the danger they pose to pedestrians and cyclists but also the noise and pollution.

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