Minimum age at 14 or 16 years, identification number, turn signals, reinforced controls but no obligation of the helmet, etc. Transport Minister Clément Beaune unveiled Sunday in Le Journal du Dimanche his national plan to regulate the use of electric scooters, a month before the referendum in Paris on their ban.

Concretely, the government wants the minimum age - currently 12 years - to be raised to "at least 14 or 16 years", with the generalization of verification mechanisms. "It's imperative to avoid tragedies involving young teens." "Then, it is necessary for all self-service scooters an apparent identification number: this will facilitate and strengthen controls," detailed Clément Beaune, also advocating the obligation of turn signals. "To put an end to the piles of abandoned scooters, most communities have set up mandatory parking spaces: operators must imperatively generalize the double crutch and increase patrols," said the minister.

"The state will put the sword in the loins of operators"

Citing the example of Lyon, Clément Beaune finally pleaded for the ecological requirement of a "longer battery life and an obligation to recycle in France". "The state will put the sword in the loins of the operators, because the laxity has now lasted too long," explained the minister.

On the other hand, he does not retain the obligation of the helmet: "because for an obligation to be effective, it must be able to be controlled and this would concern an immense number of cases". "If you do it for the scooter, consistency requires that you do it for the bike," argued the minister, who does not want to discourage the expansion of the number of users of these alternatives to the car.

Clément Beaune also says he is ready to "toughen the fines" against those who drive in pairs (35 euros currently). "It's forbidden and it's the cause of one in 5 serious accidents," he said.

By presenting this plan, Clément Beaune is firmly taking the opposite view of the vote organised on 2 April by the Mayor of Paris. "Anne Hidalgo wants to ban scooters without assuming it, so she organizes a referendum without campaign and without contradictory opinions being expressed," castigated the minister in the JDD, seeing "an admission of failure and weakness". "I will vote as a citizen and as an elected representative of Paris. You understood in what sense... " he added.

Conversely, Clément Beaune intends to remain "in the spirit of the 2019 mobility law, which left a maximum of regulation to cities", while proposing to help them with a "reinforced national framework".

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