E-scooters to be policed as strictly as cars in Dubai, RTA says

Authority says there will be fines and confiscations for riding in prohibited areas

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Electric scooters will be regulated and policed the same way as cars, as Dubai authorities plan to expand their use in more locations in the city.

Hussain Al Banna, executive director of traffic at Roads and Transport Authority, said e-scooters are an excellent option for “first-and-last-mile” trips – the beginning or end of a trip made primarily by public transport – but it is very important they are regulated for the safety of the users and others on the road.

While they offer some core solutions for micro-mobility users, there have been ongoing safety covers surrounding their use in the UAE and across the world.

In March 2021, The National reported how UAE hospitals had reported a series of injuries caused by e-scooter accidents.

E-scooters are great for promoting sustainable mobility. But at the same time, their use needs to be regulated. They must follow local and federal laws in the same way as cars do
Hussain Al Banna, Roads and Transport Authority

Doctors said broken bones, bruises and scrapes from falling off the two-wheelers – some can travel at more than 30 kilometres an hour – were common.

In an interview with Dubai Eye radio station, Mr Banna said Dubai aims to enforce strict safety controls after it began a year-long trial of e-scooter rentals in five districts in October 2020.

These include Rigga Street, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Internet City, and 2nd of December Street.

Half a million trips during this time were used to assess how e-scooters can be safely integrated into the emirate's transport system.

“During the pilot project, we studied the behaviour of people, what is suitable and what is the minimum age that should be approved,” he said.

“We brought some international companies to monitor the use of e-scooters and asked local companies to learn from them.”

The scheme is being extended to 10 areas of the emirate this year, including City Walk and Palm Jumeirah.

“E-scooters are great for promoting sustainable mobility and it will help the city to grow, a trend we have seen worldwide,” he said

“But at the same time, their use needs to be regulated. They must follow local and federal laws in the same way as cars do.”

What are the rules for riders?

As the popularity of scooters grows in the city, authorities have enforced rules that riders must follow.

These include:

The minimum age to ride scooters is 16

Riders should wear a helmet

Drive only in the safe designated zones

The speed limit is 20kph

Keep a safe distance between scooters

Riders should not block pedestrians

Park the scooters in designated areas

What kind of scooters are allowed in Dubai?

The city allows rental and personal scooters.

“The rental ones are built to certain specifications,” Mr Banna said.

“For example, they come with geofencing technology that can render the scooters inoperable if the riders exceed the 20kph speed limit.

“Those who use personal scooters must ensure quality and have standard brakes and wheels. Police will confiscate the modified ones. They will also take away scooters if the riders drive in non-designated areas and there will be fines.”

This week, the Federal Traffic Council set up a task force to help ensure the safe use of e-scooters across the UAE.

This new committee will work closely with relevant authorities to develop plans to regulate their use and avoid reckless behaviour on the roads.

In June last year, two children were struck by cars while riding e-scooters in Sharjah.

One of them, an Emirati, 13, sustained serious injuries when hit by a car near the Al Lou’Lou’a roundabout in Khor Fakkan.

The other, a fifth-grader in the emirate, died 15 days after a collision with a vehicle while riding his e-scooter.

Updated: January 06, 2022, 10:17 AM