No hoverboards in public places

Sajila Saseendran/Dubai
Filed on February 15, 2016
No hoverboards in public places

Hoverboards should not be used on roads, in shopping centres, residential complexes and walkways
(Photo by Dhes Handumon for illustrative purpose only)

A family enjoys the afternoon while riding segway at the Kite Beach in Dubai. Photo by Dhes Handumon (FOR ILLUSTRATIVE PURPOSE ONLY)

Smart wheels to be confiscated if used in non-designated areas in Dubai

Dubai has banned the use of hoverboards in public areas and warned of confiscation of the smart wheels if used in places other than the designated areas.

A string of injuries and a couple of deaths due to hoverboard accidents were reported in the UAE in the past few months. Earlier, the Department of Economic Department (DED) in Dubai had banned the use of hoverboards in shopping malls. The Dubai Police had warned hoverboard users to stay off roads, pavements and car parks and the Federal Traffic Council of the UAE had recommended the confiscation of the smart-wheels from the violators. Some UAE airlines had also banned these devices due to reports of fire hazard due to the lithium batteries they operate with.

> Banned in Dubai malls since
october last year
> Prohibited areas: roads,
shopping centres, residential
complexes, public sidewalks
and walkways
> These boards can only be
used in areas designated for
bicycles, skateboards and
similar devices
> Violators will have to face
the confiscation of their
deaths in UAE
> January 2016 - a filipino
died after he hit a lamppost
while reportedly riding a
hoverboard in mushrif Park in
> october 2015 - a six-yearold
emirati riding a hoverboard
was killed in abu Dhabi after
he was run over by a car.

The new restrictions on the use of hoverboards also known as self-balancing scooters or smart wheels are issued by the Public Health and Safety Department of the Dubai Municipality.

The Director of the department, Marwan Al Mohammed told Khaleej Times on Sunday that the civic body has issued the regulations restricting the use of hoverboards in all public areas except the ones designated for the use of bicycles, skateboards and similar devices. The prohibited areas include roads, shopping centres, residential complexes, public sidewalks and walkways.

"These rules are meant to safeguard the safety of the users and others. We don't want the pedestrians to be endangered either. So, it is not allowed to use these smart wheels not only on the roads, but also in zones where people are allowed to walk." He said the department will convene meetings of entities like the Dubai Police, DED and the Roads and Transport Authority to chalk out the ways to implement the regulations.

"We will discuss with inspectors of all departments and come up with a plan on implementing the regulations."

Though penalties including fines have been initially ruled out, and the official said the violators will have to face confiscation of hoverboards. He said the regulations also stipulate that the users wear safety gears as specified in the user manuals issued by the manufacturers.

"Most of the accidents and injuries occur as the users are not adhering to the safety guidelines issued by the manufacturers.Most people do not wear personal protective equipment that will protect them from injuries. Most parents do not read the user manuals and do not know that there are age and weight restrictions for the use of these devices."

According to him, certain smart wheels should not be used by children below 13 years of age and those weighing less than 40kgs. "But, we see many small kids using these boards. It is the responsibility of the parents to make sure that they buy gifts appropriate to their children's age and they also follow the safety guidelines," the official added.

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