Article updated 6-June-2023
There is a strong demand for micro-mobility, and we see e-scooters everywhere. Unfortunately, we also see a lot of reckless behavior from e-scooter riders. One 9-June-22 Dubai Police issued these accident & fatalities numbers: https://www.dubaieye1038.com/news/local/safety-drive-launched-following-2-dubai-e-scooter-deaths/
In May 2023, Abu Dhabi published new rules: https://gulfnews.com/uae/abu-dhabi-clarifies-new-rules-on-electric-scooters-1.96021996
Also in May 2023. there were some great press releases with background and tips & tricks – one such example: Khaleej Times
The appropriate infrastructure is growing, but it does not match the current demand and use of e-scooters. We see all ages of e-scooter users. We see e-scooters used practically on all surfaces, like roads, pedestrian walkways, and bike lanes. We observe careless users like even on dedicated zones at night many e-scooters go without lights; only a minority wear helmets, protective gear, and reflective safety vests.
The weaker traffic participants, especially pedestrians, get taken advantage of by the reckless behavior of e-scooter users every day. Other less agile road users, especially cars, often cannot react quickly enough to the swift actions of reckless e-scooter riders.
Hospitals are reporting increased numbers of e-scooter rider accidents and pedestrian injuries caused by e-scooter riders. Hence, the an urgent need for broad regulation! Ideally, the same rules for all emirates, meaning on the federal level.
A all these facts call for more and urgent regulation and education on the rules. It is good that progress is made regarding age restrictions (above 16 years in Dubai) and the need for a special permit that we understand is quick and easy to obtain. We also understand that the officially allowed zones increased from 5 to 10 areas in Dubai.
KNOW THE RULES: Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has issued Executive Council Resolution No. (13) of 2022, which regulates the use of bicycles, electric bikes, and scooters in Dubai. Here is a great article summarizing the rules:
https://www.arabianbusiness.com/industries/transport/what-are-the-new-rules-for-cyclists-electric-bikes-and-scooters-issued-by-dubai-crown-prince-sheikh-hamdan and here is the Resolution No. (13) in original including the rules, fines and more:
Here are the rules for Abu Dhabi:
However, the usage of e-scooters is happening literally everywhere and we need more regulation and guidance for e-scooter users. Questions that need to be answered:
- besides dedicated zones (with dedicated lanes), is the use allowed outside of these zones at all?
- where can they be used outside on the dedicated zones, where should riders go (on pedestrian walkways?, on the side of roads?)
- how will the regulations be enforced? Will there be police (or RTA/ITC staff) on e-scooters patrolling other e-scooters in the known ‘hot spots’?
- how do we educate our children (many youngsters can be seen), what role do the schools play?
As there is still ‘work in progress’ with regards to rules, we advise users to regularly check for updates – especially regarding the areas where e-scooters can be used – on these government sites: RTA (Dubai) and ITC (Abu Dhabi)
Safety Stipulations (source RTA):
- Be at least sixteen (16) years old.
- Wearing a protective helmet and appropriate gear and shoes.
- Parking at the designated places.
- Riders must avoid blocking the way before pedestrians and vehicles.
- Leaving a safe distance between E-scooters, bikes and pedestrians.
- Riders must not carry something that causes an imbalance.
- Riders must not carry any passengers.
- Adhering to traffic instructions, regulations and warning signs on the tracks.
- Refraining from using dual headsets.
- Informing competent authorities when any accident occurs, whether the accident caused or did not cause damage to others.
- Adhering to general safety conditions while driving an electric scooter.
- Wearing appropriate clothes and shoes.
- Dismount the Scooter while crossing the pedestrian crossings and abide by traffic and traffic laws.
- Avoid reckless driving which poses a danger to the public or users or endanger the lives of others.
- Avoid riding e-scooters outside designated or shared lanes
Technical Specifications (source: RTA):
- Head and rear lights.
- Horn fixed on the steering arm (T-bar).
- Roadworthy tyres.
- Brakes on the front and back tyres.
- E-scooters must be manufactured and tailored according to the climatic conditions and specifications of the UAE.
- E-scooters must comply with the specifications specified by the authority concerned with setting specifications and standards.
- The maximum speed limit must be set at 20 km/h.
- RTA reserves the right to introduce any further stipulations in future, as appropriate.
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