NAT E SCOOTER-1641619791674
An e-Scooters station on 2nd December Street in Dubai. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/Gulf News

Dubai: The minimum age for riding e-scooters or electric scooters across Dubai will be raised to 16 years, starting from the first quarter this year, once legislation in this regard is approved, a senior official with Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has confirmed to Gulf News.

The move will increase the safety of e-scooter riders and also that of other road users.

Hussain Mohammad Al Banna, executive director at RTA’s Traffic Department, said: “The policy [raising the minimum age requirement] will be enforced city-wide during Q1 [first quarter] of 2022, after the legislation is approved. However, in the five main approved scooter trial zones, the age enforcement policy has already been implemented. Official signages with instructions and details have already been put up in the trial zones.”

In Dubai, the RTA is responsible for regulating the use of e-scooters. Administrative Order No 208 — 2020, issued on March 23, 2020, states that a rider must be at least 14 years old to ride an e-scooter (except in pilot areas designated by RTA, where the minimum age now stands at 16).

Pilot areas

RTA had rolled out the pilot phase of e-scooter rentals in five areas of Dubai back in October 2020. These areas are Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, Dubai Internet City, 2nd December Street and Al Rigga Street. In these areas, the minimum age to ride e-scooters has already been increased to 16 years old, up from the previous minimum age requirement of 14 years. The success in these pilot areas will eventually pave the way for a citywide rollout of the handy electric two-wheelers as first and last-mile solution for commuters.

More areas covered

Last month, RTA had announced the expanded operation of e-scooters in ten Dubai districts, starting from the first quarter of 2022, following an endorsement of e-scooter policy by Dubai Executive Council. RTA added that it will expand the use and tracks of e-scooters to include specific residential areas and 23 new districts later on.

Mattar Mohammed Al Tayer, RTA Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, had said last month: “The operation of e-scooters is part of Dubai Government’s efforts to improve the quality of life and make residents happier, shift towards sustainable transport and make Dubai the preferred place to live and work as well as the preferred and the safest destination for visitors. The trial of e-scooters proved successful as a suitable means of individual commuting over short distances and first and last-mile trips.”

“Customers’ satisfaction rating of the experiment reached 82 per cent. RTA, in coordination with Dubai Police, examined several international models and experiences of major cities in operating e-scooters, such that it can choose the most appropriate model for Dubai,” he added.

Safety first

RTA has urged the public “to avoid using electric scooters on tracks that are still under construction to avoid mishaps. Infrastructure works for e-scooters in new districts is proceeding according to plan. Works are nearing completion in the placement of traffic and directional signs for e-scooters, in keeping with best international specifications and standards of traffic safety”.

“E-scooters are permitted to operate under strict guidelines and on designated tracks. The rider and the renter must comply with the rules and regulations set by RTA, which are aligned with traffic rules. They govern the use of e-scooters and the associated traffic safety stipulations such as the wearing of helmet. The e-scooter must be parked at designated places and must not be left in places that trigger traffic bottlenecks. Riders must ride cautiously and avoid causing traffic risks to other road users. They must comply with all instructions and regulations relating to the areas where e-scooter riding is permitted, as mentioned in the apps designed for operators,” the RTA underlined.

Police warning

In a previous interview, Dubai Police had told Gulf News that they would enforce the law on e-scooters, especially those who drive against the flow of traffic or on pavements in markets and narrow roads as they endanger their lives and those of others. Police said that e-scooters should always be operated on designated tracks and not on the main roads.

Rules at a glance:

In Dubai, RTA is responsible for regulating the use of e-scooters. Administrative Order No 208 — 2020, issued on March 23, 2020, and available on the RTA’s website, states:

1. The speed of e-scooters must be limited to a maximum of 20km/hr.

2. E-scooters must have headlights and tail-lights.

3. There should be a device for sounding a warning (i.e. similar to car horns and bicycle bells).

4. E-scooters should have functional wheels.

5. Brakes must be present on the front and rear wheels.

6. They must be built to withstand the extreme weather conditions of the UAE.

7. They must meet the requirements, technical specifications and standards set by the competent authorities.

Read more

Rules for E-scooter riders:

1. Rider must be at least 14 years old (except in pilot areas designated by RTA, where the minimum age now stands at 16 years).

2. Rider must wear a protective helmet.

3. E-scooters must be parked in their designated parking areas only.

4. E-scooters must not be parked or used in a manner that causes obstruction to the flow of traffic or to pedestrians.

5. Rider must maintain a safe distance between themselves and bikes/pedestrians.

6. Rider must not carry any item that may cause e-scooters to lose balance.

7. Rider must not carry any additional rider (e-scooters are for individual/solo use).

8. Comply with rules, regulations and road signs.

9. Rider must report major as well as minor accidents to the competent authority, regardless of whether such accident caused any damage or not.

10. Rider must not use headphones or earphones while riding e-scooters.

11. Rider must observe and adhere to the general safety requirements while riding e-scooters.

12. Rider must not ride the e-scooter in a manner that may be dangerous or life-threatening to others.

13. Ride must ride the e-scooter only in its designated lane.

14. Rider must wear appropriate clothing and footwear.