On September 1, 2022, Paris instituted a new parking fee for motorbikes and scooters. Previously, all two-wheelers enjoyed free parking access throughout the City of Lights. However, officials implemented a €3 ($3) per hour parking rate to curb urban congestion, pollution, and noise. Ruffling even more feathers, the newly-mandated fees only applied to motorcycles and scooters equipped with internal combustion engines.
Just three months following the order, Paris police have already issued more than 200,000 parking violation tickets. With fines ranging between €25 ($26 USD) and €37.5 ($40 USD), the staggering total amounts to more than €5M ($5.3M USD) in fines. During that same period, authorities removed and impounded 5,000 motorcycles and scooters for illegal parking.
Many Parisians and local commuters are incensed by the costly citations, but Paris Deputy Mayor David Belliard believes “it is a very positive assessment” of the new measure. According to French media outlet Le Parisien, Belliard went on to justify the move when he stated, “We are in the process of transforming the engines.”
The Deputy Mayor believes that “fewer scooters and thermal motorcycles” and “more and more electric scooters circulating” makes this transition self-evident. Coupled with other Parisian regulations, Belliard promotes the idea that “thermal is writing the last chapter of its life” in France’s capital city.
This isn’t Paris’ only crackdown on petrol-powered two-wheelers either. In January, 2022, the city expanded testing of its noise radar systems. Belliard commented that the automated ticketing apparatus would improve Parisians’ “health and quality of life”. If approved by the end of 2022, the system will begin issuing citations in 2023.
We’re used to electric vehicles receiving preferential treatment in the form of Low Emissions Zone and highway lane access, but Paris’ latest orders border on prejudice. Belliard’s legislative actions and recent statements only heighten a perceived vendetta against internal combustion vehicles. As gearheads, we’re well aware that electric mobility development is critical to halt the climate crisis, but are Paris’ methods determined or simply draconian?