New e-scooter rules will keep Dubai roads smart and safe

For short commutes and last-mile journeys, e-scooters are the most convenient modes of transport. They are affordable and personalised.

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Published: Mon 11 Apr 2022, 10:42 PM

Smart and sustainable are the new buzzwords for city planners as governments seek ways to improve the quality of life without harming the environment. How Dubai’s urban transportation network has expanded and diversified in the last years is a glowing example of this balancing act. Can you imagine Dubai now without its metro system? Can you imagine a Dubai without its water taxis and public buses? Last year, more than 461 million people used the city’s public transportation system.

In a city that is embracing – albeit slowly - carbon-friendly mobility options, e-scooters are the latest mode of transport on the block. From Wednesday, 2,000 of these machines will be available for rent across the city for those who have a driving licence or a special permit. These electric scooters will be allowed on some cycling tracks in 10 districts of Dubai, authorities have announced. These zones are areas that have high population density. These are also areas where there is an efficient public transportation network. These environment-friendly scooters are considered the best bet for big cities like Dubai that wants to be bicycle and pedestrian-friendly. Hence, Resolution Number 13 for 2022, which was endorsed by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, has drawn up an extensive set of rules and regulations.

According to the resolution, residents can ride e-scooters if they have a driving licence. Otherwise, they would need a special permit. Riders need to attend training courses and pass an online test to get a permit. The transport authority has also stipulated the speed limit should not exceed 20kmph. E-scooters are accident-prone if not driven with care and expertise. Examples from other cities in the UK and US that have introduced these modes of transport are proof that their use should be regulated for the safety of road users. Maintenance, parking are also covered under the new rules.

In Dubai, reckless riding of these vehicles had caused fatal accidents prompting authorities to launch safety campaigns. The new set of rules would ensure these e-scooters are not used by those under 16. Helmets have also been made mandatory by authorities. But the onus rests on residents to ride these vechicles with care. For short commutes and last-mile journeys, e-scooters are the most convenient modes of transport. They are affordable and personalised. They also help beat traffic and reduce the carbon footprint. With the right training and reglations they will be a boon for those travelling shorter distances. Here’s to safer journeys.

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