Le Figaro Lyon
On June 7, 2021, twins Louis and Paul, 12, decide to take their father's electric scooter to class. Helmet on their heads they return from the school in Saint-Amour (Jura) - where they live - when, at an intersection, the two-wheeler does not brake hard enough and is hit by a motorist. The shock causes the death of Louis. Two years later, the mother, Lydie, and her husband, Robert, are fighting to regulate the use of scooters and electric bikes.
THE FIGARO. - Two years after the death of your son, what is the status of the investigation?
Lydie MONTURY. - We have a lawyer, Jennifer Lebrun, who specializes in the right to personal injury. It is taking the necessary steps with the courts to relaunch the investigation, which has been dismissed. An accident expert has also drawn up a report revealing important elements on the responsibility of the driver of the Berlingo in the death of our son. Today, we are making a request for an investigation procedure.
Since this tragic accident, you have made the regulation of the use of electric scooters your fight, going so far as to write to the President of the Republic and challenge deputies and ministers?
After he passed away, I made three promises to Louis. May justice be served, may the law to protect children change and finally may our family always remain united. I want what happened to be used to save other people. We first met with our MP, Danielle Brulebois, who has worked extensively with us on this issue since then. Then, recently, we met with the Minister of Transport, Clément Beaune, but also Florence Guillaume, the Interministerial Delegate for Road Safety to testify as relatives of victims. We were received at the National Assembly, where we met several Renaissance deputies, including their leader, Aurore Berger, who was rather reluctant to debate our proposals at first.
Read alsoThe wearing of the scooter helmet soon mandatory?
Precisely, a first bill, without obligation to wear a helmet, was presented in the spring by Danielle Brulebois and Thomas Rudigoz, but the presidential group did not adopt it...
I think members did not understand the issues at that time because they did not meet with the families of the victims. Since we met Clément Beaune in March, I feel that things have moved. We are still exchanging with him by message and we will be auditioned again as parents by the end of the year.
" READ ALSO Scooters: behind the accidents, the puzzle of the regulation
Several measures you are pushing - mandatory helmet wearing on scooters and electric bikes, wearing yellow vests on scooters, banning under 16s - are not popular...
For us, the main measure is the mandatory wearing of helmets for scooters and electric bikes. These two-wheelers are supposed to have a limited maximum speed, but some smart guys unbridle them. I can tell you about what happened to my sons. Louis had his helmet fractured in five places but he protected it. If he hadn't had his abdominal hemorrhage, he would still be here today. The helmet of his brother, Paul, was fractured in three places and he is still with us. Its wearing is essential. Regarding the minimum age, as a family, we ask that it be set at 16 years minimum. Instead, the law should provide for 14 years, which is the same as for the AM licence (formerly BSR). Their speed should also be limited to 20 km/h instead of 25 km/h today.
Our goal is not to ban scooters, because they have an ecological virtue. But it's not just ecology, we also have to think about safety
Regarding the yellow vest, we want it to be mandatory, even if it is not practical or aesthetic, because in the dark, it is very complicated to see these machines - poorly lit - arrive. From a technical point of view, we want to impose turn signals, real stop lights, the emission of a sound so that pedestrians hear them and the obligation to have two brakes, at the front and rear of scooters. The wheels of the scooters are extremely small. These are stroller wheels that turn extremely quickly with the risks that this entails. The idea would be to create a more ambitious French NF standard than the current CE standard by increasing the size of the wheels and widening the tray, while making it shorter as is done in Germany because it is much more stable.
Read alsoIn Paris, 26% of scooter users say they have already had an accident
The mandatory wearing of helmets is the most contested measure, especially by cycling associations who fear that it will curb the use of soft modes of transport. Do you understand their reservations?
Not really. When we go to Amsterdam or other cities where cycling is very present, everyone has a helmet and that does not prevent people from moving like that. It is really the French quantum who thinks that this would be a brake. Putting a helmet on the head empowers users because the scooter or electric bike are motorized machines whose kinetics are completely different from that of non-electric two-wheelers. Our goal is not to ban scooters, because they have an ecological virtue for travel in the city. But it's not just ecology, we also have to think about the safety of users and pedestrians.