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France introduces new regulations on electric scooters

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France introduces new regulations on electric scooters
Copyright  STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP
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France introduced new regulations on e-scooters this week.

The battery-powered, motorised vehicles have been the subject of heated debate across Europe amidst reports of multiple accidents.

The country is now imposing a speed limit of 25 kilometres per hour on the vehicles with a fine of €1500 for people possessing e-scooters capable of a higher speed limit.

The new changes to France's driving code incorporate a minimum age of 12-years-old in order to drive an e-scooter.

The changes also apply to hoverboards, segways, and "Solowheels".

Other key changes include a ban on multiple passengers on e-scooters with a possible fine of €35 for transporting another passenger and prohibiting motorised scooters from circulating on the pavement.

Germany legalised e-scooters in May but also banned them from travelling on the pavement. In the United Kingdom, it is illegal to ride e-scooters on pavements, public roads or in cycle lanes.

In France now, if you ride on the pavement with an e-scooter, you will be charged a €135 fine.

People owning these motorised personal vehicles have until July 1, 2020, to ensure their vehicle has front and rear position lamps, reflectors, a type of bell and a braking system.

Designed to be an environmentally-friendly way of travelling around a city, a study released in August found that they could be worse for the environment than taking a bus or riding a bike due to their manufacture, collection and distribution.

Read more: As deaths put e-scooters in the spotlight, what are European countries doing to keep citizens safe?