A man on an electric scooter has died after being hit by a truck in Paris on Monday, according to officials in the French capital.
The fatal accident, which occurred in the northern neighborhood of Goutte d’Or, is the first involving an electric scooter in the city, Agence France-Presse reported. The truck driver has been detained and prosecutors have opened an investigation into “involuntary homicide,” the news agency said.
The City of Paris and the Paris Police Prefecture confirmed the incident to CNN.
Electric scooters — and the lack of regulation surrounding their use — have become a contentious issue in the French capital. Last week, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, said it was time to put an end to the ”anarchic” increase in their numbers, but said that there were no clear legal guidelines in place to regulate their use in the city.
Hidalgo announced a raft of new measures to come into effect from July, including bans on electric scooters in parks and gardens, and on parking on sidewalks, as well as speed limits of 20 kilometers per hour (12 miles per hour) for roads.
Paris has become home to nearly 20,000 e-scooters since their introduction just a year ago, with 12 companies operating scooter-sharing systems in the capital. The City of Paris has pointed to predictions that electric scooters could number 40,000 by 2020.
In May, France’s transport minister Elisabeth Borne announced a nationwide ban on electric scooters on sidewalks from September, after locals grew frustrated with the vehicles congesting public areas and causing an increase in accidents.
“The development of these (scooters) was very rapid and a little anarchic. We didn’t see it coming and it became the law of the jungle,” Borne told Le Parisien. “And it is true that we are seeing an increase in accidents and but also an increasing sense of unease on our pavements.”
Borne announced riders will be fined 135 euros ($150) from September if they use e-scooters on sidewalks.
US e-scooter rental firm Lime has aggressively entered the European market in the past year, with Paris as one of its flagship locations. It has been followed by companies including Tier, Bird and Uber offshoot Jump.
Questions have been raised over the safety of e-scooters — in May, a US study found especially high rates of accidents among new riders.
One in three injured riders were hurt on their first trip and about 63% had ridden nine times or fewer before their injury, the study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Texas’ Austin Public Health Department found. The researchers concluded that additional training may be necessary for e-scooter riders.