Feel free to pedal in Dubai, new fines don't target you

Feel free to pedal in Dubai, new fines dont target you
Authorities advise cyclists to wear proper safety equipment - a bike helmet, reflective vest and front and rear lights.

Dubai - The bike-to-work movement can be wholly contributed to the emirate's ongoing developments towards making the city more accessible for cyclists.



By Keith Pereña

Published: Sat 20 May 2017, 9:12 PM

Several cyclists around Dubai are worried since the new traffic fines have been released. This worry stems from the fact that many Dubai residents prefer to use a bicycle to get to their workplaces.
The bike-to-work movement can be wholly contributed to the emirate's ongoing developments towards making the city more accessible for cyclists. In the past three years, Dubai has seen an increase in bicycle paths within the town. Earlier, cycling was only relegated to proper cycling tracks designed for weekenders who train and exercise. It's only in recent times that cycling has grown to become a way to get from one point of the city to another.
But the recent revised traffic fines have made cyclists around town concerned. The reason being that a fine of Dh3,000 will be imposed for 'using recreational bikes along public roads'. They feared that their ride - be it to commute or for leisure is now spurned, since urban cycling involves being on the side of the road.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, several cyclists shared their reactions of the new penalty upon its initial announcement. M Gabuya, member of a Dubai-based cycling group, said: "I was confused as I thought it also included bicycles. Banning bicycles on roads will be heartbreaking for bike commuters and enthusiasts." He also makes mention that his cycling group, Foldubs, encourages safe cycling and are up-to-date with the rules and regulations of the road. "We're not supposed to ride on roads with speed limits exceeding 60kmph."
Manny, a Burjuman resident, meanwhile said that he was not the least bit confused as it was quickly clarified that pedal bicycles are not included. He attributes the exemption to the UAE's 'goal of promoting a green society.'
Apart from the confusion, local cycling groups also encouraged cyclists - especially within the city to follow road safety guidelines. Voltaire Jamison of Jumeirah Mountain Bikers, said: "When cycling in urban landscapes, always wear the proper equipment. Cycling along the pavement is okay. If there are many people - we advise our club members to dismount from their bikes and just walk. We also make it a point to educate riders to avoid riding their bikes on highways such as Sheikh Zayed Road."
Suffice to say, cycling to work is a great indicator of the UAE's goal of becoming a sustainable city. The number of cyclists around the town are increasing and as always, authorities advise that cyclists wear the proper safety equipment - a bike helmet, reflective vest and front and rear lights. 
keith@khaleejtimes.com
 
 
 


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