Since 25 October, France has introduced new rules for non-type-approved personal light electric vehicles (PLEVs). According to a spokesperson of the French Ministry of Transport, driving forces behind this revision was the lack of a well-designed legal status for these vehicles and safety concerns on public roads.
Focus of the revision are rules for e-scooters, however they will also apply to hoverboards, monowheels and self-balancing vehicles. As a result, these vehicles now have a legal status in the French highway code (Décret n° 2019-1082, art. 10). This status results in rules on place on the road, parking, technical requirements and sanctions in case of infringement.
The following rules apply since 25 October 2019.
A minimum age of 12 years for using these vehicles
A maximum design speed of 25 km/h when used on public roads
Only one rider per device
Using a mobile phone and/or headphones while driving is forbidden
Driving on pavements is forbidden, however parking is allowed
PLEVs in urban areas can go either on cycle paths or on the road, provided the maximum speed is no more than 50 km/h. Outside urban areas, they must go on cycle paths.
Using a helmet is recommended but not obligatory.
Riders must wear reflective clothing during the day in case of reduced visibility and at night
Individual owners of PLEVs must undertake an insurance. Owners of a free-floating sharing system must underwrite an insurance for their customers.
Furthermore, some technical requirements come into force on 1 July 2020. From that date on, every e-scooter needs to comply with the following requirements:
Front- and rear lights
Rear & side retro reflection
A braking system
Disobeying the new rules could results in a fine of up to €1,500 if your e-scooter has a design speed of more than 25 km/h. More than one person on your e-scooter results in a fine of €35 or €135 in case of driving on pavements.