More and more residents are opting to use e-scooters as a mode of transportation to go to their work (especially if they’re just a block away from their workplace).
However, the question is, can you really ride it legally in the UAE knowing that it has strict laws governing the public?
In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is the one responsible for regulating the use of e-scooters.
Citing the Administrative Order No. 208-2020 which was issued on March 23, 2020, the following details are the required
technical specifications of the e-scooters:
1. They must contain headlights and taillights;
2. They must contain a device for making a warning noise (i.e similar to car horns);
3. They must contain functional wheels;
4. They must contain brakes on the front and rear wheels;
5. They must be built to withstand the extreme weather conditions of the country;
6. They must meet the requirements, technical specifications, and standards set by competent authorities;
7. They must be GPS-tagged so that they work with designated geographical areas (i.e geo-fencing)
8. The speed of e-scooters must be limited to a maximum of 20 km/h; and
9. They must comply with any other specification/standards set by the authority.
The order also provides that e-scooter riders must:
1. Be of, at least, 14 years of age;
2. Wear a protective helmet;
3. Park their e-scooters in designated parking areas (if any);
4. Not use or park their e-scooter in a way that causes an obstruction to the flow of traffic of pedestrians;
5. Maintain a safe trailing distance between themselves and bikes/pedestrians;
6. Not carry any item that may cause their e-scooters to lose balance’
7. Not carry any additional rides (e-scooters are for individual/solo use only);
8. Comply with rules, regulations, and road signs placed in the designated lanes;
9. Report major and minor accidents to the competent authority regardless of whether such accidents caused damage or not;
10. Not use headphones or earphones when riding their e-scooters;
11. Observe and adhere to the general safety requirements whilst riding their e-scooters;
12. Not ride their e-scooters in a manner which may be dangerous or life-threatening to others;
13. Not ride their e-scooters except in the designated and shared lanes; and
14. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
Recently, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai introduced an initiative aimed at promoting cycling as an environmentally-friendly mode of transport as part of the Dubai Plan 2021.
Bushra Abu Tayeh, Senior Associate in the Transport, Insurance Department at UAE-based law firm Al Tamimi and Company told Gulf News that presently, there is no way in which an e-scooter can be registered or licensed.
“Hence they are considered ‘unregistered vehicles’ when used on the road. Also, legal ownership documents of such vehicles do not exist. Consequently, at the discretion of the police, fines may be personally imposed upon riders,” she added.
E-Scooter Club UAE (ESCU), a Dubai-based group of e-scooter riders, provided the following guidelines, based on their meeting with Dubai Police:
1. Proper personal protective equipment must be worn at all times–specifically, helmets and high-visibility vests. Knee and elbow pads are considered optional.
2. The authorities have not yet mandated any specific type of helmet or high-visibility vests.
1. The same fines levied on personal light vehicles (i.e motorcycles) apply.
2. Fines can start from AED400, and the value of the fine is proportional to the type of violation committed by the rider.