SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

French woman charged over Italian pedestrian’s death in Paris e-scooter accident

Paris prosecutors have charged a young woman with aggravated manslaughter over the death of an Italian on the Seine river embankment in Paris earlier this month in a collision with an electronic scooter.

French woman charged over Italian pedestrian's death in Paris e-scooter accident
(Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP)

The woman, who is a nurse, is suspected of driving the scooter that hit the 32-year-old Italian woman, said a source close to the investigation on Sunday, asking not to be named.

The incident revived debate over the safety risks in allowing the hugely popular devices onto the busy streets of Paris.

The woman was charged late Saturday with manslaughter, aggravated by fleeing the scene and deliberately showing negligence in the June 14th accident.

She was released but placed under judicial control ahead of trial.

The suspect had been detained on Thursday along with another young woman after a 10-day search for the driver of the scooter. The other woman was released on Friday.

The accident happened when the Italian, Miriam S. born in Rome but living in Paris, was in the pedestrianised area to socialise with colleagues. She was talking to a friend when she was hit by the scooter with two people on board
who both then fled.

READ ALSO: France bans bikes and scooters weaving between lanes of traffic after ‘disappointing’ safety trial

She died of her wounds two days later on June 16th.

The scooters have drawn the ire of many residents and some city councillors who say they are cluttering up already crowded sidewalks and squares. In 2019, a man in his 80s was struck and killed in the Paris suburb of Levallois-Perret, and last year a 75-year-old woman was killed in Paris after being hit by an e-scooter.

Officially they are forbidden on sidewalks and only one rider is allowed, but enforcement is scant and many riders, including tourists, ignore or are unaware of the rules.

Paris also has a e-scooter speed limit of 20 km/h (12 mph) and prohibits parking them on sidewalks or public squares, where they are often scattered either upright or knocked over.

An April survey of 237 users by Axa Prevention, part of the Axa insurance group, found that 79 percent admitted to riding on sidewalks, while 66 percent said they would roll through yellow traffic lights instead of stopping.

In 2020, 78 pedestrians were injured in France after being struck by e-scooters or so-called “personal transporters” – such as gyropods and electric skateboards – according to the Securite Routiere road safety agency.

Member comments

  1. Would be great to see the comparison of deaths from cars or scooters when mentioning statistics about the e-scooters. Seems a bit slanted at being anti e-scooter.

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

POLICE

France vows to tackle motorbike ‘rodeos’ after children injured

The French government has pledged a new crackdown against illicit motorbike cruising by youths in suburbs across the country, after two children were seriously injured by a rider near Paris.

France vows to tackle motorbike 'rodeos' after children injured

The rowdy late-night races and stunts known as “rodeos” have become increasingly popular in particular in low-income neighbourhoods, leading to complaints about traffic and noise from local officials and many residents.

On Friday evening, a 10-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy were hit by a rider while playing tag outside their home in Pontoise, northwest of the capital.

French daily Le Figaro reported on Monday that the girl suffered a blow to the head and remained in serious condition in hospital, while the boy had a broken leg.

The accident came after a 19-year-old man was killed in June after being hit by a bike rider in the western city of Rennes.

“I have asked the police to step up their interventions this month,” Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said in the southern city of Marseille.

Nonetheless the rodeos are often tolerated or defended as a gritty urban subculture that provides an outlet for disaffected youths, with an upcoming film, “Rodeo”, that appears to glorify the gatherings and  generated a strong buzz at the Cannes film festival last May.

Police have carried out 8,000 operations to break up rodeos in the past two months, leading to 1,200 arrests and the seizure of around 700 motorbikes and other vehicles including all-terrain “quads”.

In 2018, parliament passed a law increasing penalties for the riders to up to five years in prison.

SHOW COMMENTS