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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.

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PARIS

Paris abandons controversial Eiffel Tower plans

The Paris mayor's office has abandoned plans for new buildings around the foot of the Eiffel Tower following months of protests from environmentalists and a petition signed by nearly 150,000 people.

Paris abandons controversial Eiffel Tower plans

Under the scheme, around 20 mature trees would have been cut down, while four new buildings housing a café, shops, toilets and baggage drop-off were set to be constructed.

“I am announcing that we are completely cancelling any construction project at the foot of the tower but the re-landscaping is maintained,” deputy mayor Emmanuel Gregoire told the Journal du Dimanche.

A decision to save the trees had been made in May following protests and objections from local residents.

The landscaping is part of a much larger plan to re-organise the space around the famous tourist attraction, which will see roads and public areas planted with grass and shrubs.

“We are not giving into pressure but we would like that the project is not overshadowed by controversy. Let’s just say that we are removing some of the friction,” Gregoire continued.

READ ALSO 13 things you didn’t know about the Eiffel Tower

An area of 54 hectares around the tower, currently crisscrossed by several roads, will be largely turned over to pedestrians and “low-impact transportation” such as bus and bike lanes.

City authorities are aiming to finish as much as possible for the start of the Paris Olympic Games in 2024.

An estimated 150,000 people visit the tower site every day during the summer high season, including the 20,000 to 30,000 who climb the tower itself.

Overall, seven million people visit the tower each year.

Campaigners were delighted that the plans for new buildings had been dropped and the trees saved.

“We’re satisfied for now but we remain vigilant,” said Thomas Brail from the National Surveillance Group for Trees (GNSA), which took part in a coalition of groups opposed to the plans.

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