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PARIS: Rental electric scooters, popular in Paris and other cities around the world, are under scrutiny in the French capital, where residents will vote on Sunday (April 2) whether to ban them.

If Paris banned app-based devices that zoomed into city streets in 2018, it would be the largest city to do so.

AFP notes how other cities manage rides that are a mix of love and loathing, with users hailing them as an eco-friendly way to avoid traffic jams and critics denounces them as an unsightly threat with the power to mutilate and kill.

Paris: Pioneer

The French capital was among the first to introduce e-scooters in 2018, but discarded rental devices from original operator Lime soon littered the sidewalks.

After an uproar over anarchy and numerous fatalities, the city tightened its crackdown, reducing the number of operators to three (Dott, Lime, Tier) and the number of scooters to 15,000.

12-year-old riders can still use them (the government wants to raise it to 14), but they must park in designated areas and riders can drive up to 10km/h in most places in Paris. Running beyond is not permitted.

A referendum on Sunday will decide whether to allow rental scooters. Voting does not affect privately owned electric scooters.

London: Tread carefully

Across the Channel, London is paying greater attention to devices that the city’s police chief called “death traps”.

The capital only allows rental electric scooters with certain safety features. Privately owned devices are illegal.

Riders must be 18 years of age or older and have a full or temporary driver’s license.

The scooter has a speed limit of 12.5 miles per hour (20 kmh) and the lights stay on while in use. Boon or Bright?How cities around the world are coping with e-scooters

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