Abu Dhabi: The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, has announced new regulations on the use of bicycles, electric bikes and other micromobility devices in the emirate.
This comes after the DMT issued notification for the implementation of the provisions of the new regulations. The revised regulations aim to establish the highest standards of safety and security in both regular and electric bicycle use and rental, and include the necessary requirements for carrying out these activities along with bicycle users’ rules and technical requirements, in line with the best practices in this field.
Seeking cooperation of strategic stakeholders
ITC confirmed that the new regulations, which apply to the use and/or supply or rental of bicycles for individuals and companies, come as part of efforts, in cooperation with the relevant strategic stakeholders, to diversify transport means and establish an integrated and sustainable system that improves the quality of services available to the community, and to support leniency towards environmentally friendly transport modes in Abu Dhabi.
The new regulations regarding bicycles also include rented bicycles, the use of electric bikes, scooters and all micromobility devices that can be used on the road or bicycle lanes
Rules for cyclists and electric bike riders
The regulations stipulate that only one rider can ride a bicycle, scooter or electric bike, using the lanes dedicated to bicycles. Safety and protective helmet procedures must be followed at all time while riding the above-mentioned means.
Cyclists and users of micromobility devices can only use the lanes and roads intended for bicycles and in case there are none in the area they wish to cycle, they must use side-roads where the speed limit is usually 20 kilometres per hour, and they must stay on the far right-hand side of the road or sidewalks and pavements dedicated for the use of bicycles. Bicycle safety instructions and procedures must be followed at all times, and any stunts that are dangerous or compromising to riders, pedestrians or any other road user must be completely be avoided.
In addition, the regulations pertaining to the riding of all kinds of bicycles and micromobility devices clearly stipulate that a rider must wear a protective helmet and reflective clothing at night, and these bikes can be parked only in designated areas and cannot be left where they could impede the movement of vehicles or pedestrians. These bikes must not be chained to traffic light posts or street lighting poles. The traffic regulations also state that bicycle riders must give priority to pedestrians and decrease their speed at intersections and crossroads, while keeping a safe distance between themselves, vehicles and pedestrians.
It is completely prohibited for bicycle riders to hold on to any other vehicle, or even enter in the air space of any high or low-speed vehicle while on the move. It is completely prohibited to travel in the opposite direction of the road under any circumstances.
Rules for rental devices
The Integrated Transport Centre allows companies involved in the rental of electric bicycles to resume their activity in accordance with the provisions and requirements of the regulations, and any individual or company is prohibited from engaging in bicycle or micromobility device rental activities until they have acquired an official permit issued by the Integrated Transport Centre.
In addition, the authorised operator is responsible for not operating any bicycle or mobility device that does not conform with the approved technical specifications, and is obligated to ensure regular periodic maintenance of bicycles and/or devices according to the regulations and specifications of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and the Integrated Transport Centre. All bicycle and micromobility device renting or operating facility is also obliged to ensure that a phone number is made available to all riders through which they can be contacted in the event of any emergency or malfunction during the use of their bicycles and/or devices.
All electric bicycles must be fitted with a monitoring or tracking device (electronic GPS) that is compatible with the approved technical specifications. The new regulations aim to ensure that all smart transport systems conform to the standards and conditions stipulated by the DMT, while maintaining adherence to all requirements that ensure the safety and security of all parties involved, including the confidentiality, privacy and security of user information that is legally protected in accordance with the legislation in force, and providing sufficient insurance to properly cover road accidents for bicycle riders.
Technical specifications and requirements
The regulations stipulate that bicycles and electric bicycles should be equipped a white headlight and a red taillight that can be turned on while riding at night, or a red light reflector, as well as a handlebar-mounted sound alert device and efficient brakes, at least on the rear wheel.
The Integrated Transport Centre has confirmed that it will apply fines and other deterrent measures established in the regulations in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Police.