Dubai cyclists could be barred from wearing headphones under new safety drive

Dubai Sports Council is also looking at banning flashing bike lights

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, July 11, 2020.   
  A cyclist on the bike pathway along the Corniche with a face mask on during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Victor Besa  / The National
Section:  Standalone
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Cyclists in Dubai could be barred from wearing headphones while riding as part of a safety drive.

New measures outlined at a meeting held by Dubai Sports Council also included asking cyclists to use bright, steady lights rather than blinking or flashing lights.

Proposals to install speed-warning signs for motorists around tracks and having dedicated spots where ambulances could be stationed at all times, were also on the agenda.

Other measures included exclusive parking space for users at some of the busiest cycling tracks in Dubai, such Nad Al Sheba, Al Warqa, Al Khawaneej, Mushrif Park and Al Qudra, with free parking for the first few hours.

The meeting, chaired by Saeed Hareb, secretary general of the sports council, was attended by representatives from Dubai Police, the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai's ambulance service and Dubai Municipality.

Dubai introduced legislation making the wearing of protective helmets and reflective jackets compulsory a decade ago.

Now officials are stepping up efforts to tighten safety guidelines for the emirate's large number of cyclists.

Andy Dean, who lives in Dubai, often cycles to the gym and shops.

“These are all good ideas but we don’t seem to be addressing the issue,” said Mr Dean.

“The big picture has to include motorists as they have to be trained to respect cyclists.

“There is a general problem around the world - a lack of respect for cyclists.”

“Safety is key area in cycling. Definitely wearing helmets is a must but I don’t see many people without helmets these days.”

He warned riders against using headphones while riding and said speed warnings were a good idea.

But he said blinking lights were better than a steady beam as they catch drivers' attention.

Dubai Marina cyclists told to slow down - in pictures