Dubai: UAE authorities have urged e-scooter riders to follow safety rules as officials stated on Wednesday that two riders died and eight others were injured in a number of traffic accidents so far this year.
The warning came during the launch of a nationwide campaign by UAE Traffic Council to raise awareness among e-scooter riders. The nationwide campaign will run for 45 days and will target e-scooter riders, pedestrians and motorists.
Officials said some riders misuse e-scooters by transporting people or goods, which is not allowed for safety reasons. A rider was caught carrying gas cylinders on the e-scooter in an incident in Ras Al Khaimah.
Colonel Jumaa bin Suwaidan, Deputy Director of Traffic Department at Dubai Police, said two riders were killed and eight others sustained injuries so far this year in separate accidents.
“Majority of the incidents saw e-scooters collided with vehicles due to neglecting safety and traffic rules. The most common mistakes were not wearing a vest and helmet while riding the electric scooters,” he added.
Other offences included going opposite the traffic flow and riding e-scooters without a permit from the Roads and Transport Authority in Dubai (RTA).
22,000 permits issued
Hussain Al Banna, Executive Director of Traffic and Roads Agency at the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) of Dubai said the authority issued more than 22,000 permits for e-scooters since the permit system launched in May
“The government had specified safe zones that need to have a permit for e-scooters riders. The permit is free of charge and everyone can get it on the authority’s website. We issued about 22,000 permits. These permits educate the rider on how to use the e-scooter,” Al Banna said.
He clarified that people who have a driving license for cars or motorbikes do not need a separate permit to ride electric scooters. “We have placed stickers, signs, and red paint to guide the riders on the roads,” he added.
Al Banna said the permit can be obtained within 90 minutes. The process involves attending training courses and passing an online test. “The person who rides without a permit is endangering the lives of road users and can be caught and fined.”
The RTA has provided parking spaces for shared electric scooters along the designated tracks and permitted areas. They are mainly in key tourist attractions and around public transport stations. The aim is to encourage residents and visitors to use electric scooters on first and last-mile trips.
Meanwhile, Brigadier Ahmed Al Naqbi, head of Traffic Awareness Team at the UAE Traffic Council and director of Ras Al Khaimah Police’s Traffic and Patrol department, said there are few e-scooters incidents in the UAE, adding that there should be specific tracks for riders to use the electric scooters.
“There will be legislation and laws of using the electric scooters as well as specific tracks,” he said.
Riders should wear proper gear and helmets to protect themselves as accidents can cause severe injury or deaths, he added.