'It’s a nightmare’: Dubai residents raise alarm over deaths linked to e-scooters, bikes

Residents call for tougher action on reckless riders across communities


SM Ayaz Zakir

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File photo used for illustrative purposes
File photo used for illustrative purposes

Published: Fri 21 Jun 2024, 1:21 PM

Last updated: Tue 25 Jun 2024, 2:24 PM

It was revealed by the authorities that four people died due to e-scooter and bicycle-related accidents, prompting residents to raise concern and call for stricter rules for e-scooter riders to ensure public safety.

Mohammed Abunael, a marketing executive at a gifting firm and a resident of Abu Dhabi, shared his experiences with people riding e-scooters on roads without proper gear and engaging in reckless riding.

“Once a week, I have to visit the busy markets of Deira to meet with our vendors. It’s a nightmare for me because I'm always worried about getting hit by an e-scooter rider. Their riding patterns are unpredictable, and some riders are extremely reckless,” expressed the Jordanian expat.

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"There were a couple of instances where I almost got hit by riders crossing the road without using pedestrian crossings. Some of them were on their phones, not caring about vehicles approaching," added Abunael.

The authorities recorded over 7,800 traffic violations. They also confiscated 4,474 e-scooters and bicycles in the first half of 2024. This means an average of 43 traffic violations were recorded and 24 e-scooters or bicycles were seized daily.

Residents across the emirate are voicing their frustrations. “E-scooter riders are causing chaos on streets, especially in Deira, Karama, and Al Barsha,” said Hannan Khateeb, sales manager at an FMGC firm. “Many riders often disregard traffic signals and ride recklessly, endangering themselves and others. We need stricter rules to prevent accidents,” said Khateeb.

To curb reckless driving, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has mandated a set of rules for e-scooter riders. The authority introduced licensing and registration, as well as raised awareness to ensure residents are aware of and comply with traffic laws. RTA also established specific zones and lanes for e-scooters and even imposed speed limits. The use of helmets and other protective gear to reduce the risk of injury was also mandated, and individuals not adhering to these rules would be fined.

“With so many restrictions, these e-scooter riders still break the law,” said Khateeb.

A few residents also raised concerns about how their children are not safe whenever they are out. Fatima El Hamed, an Egyptian residing in Al Majaz, Sharjah, and a mother of two said that the authorities should be vigilant and impose heavy fines for those who overspeed and break the rules. “My children and I love walking along the corniche, but the constant threat of speeding e-scooters and bicycles is terrifying. Even at Mamzar Beach in Dubai, many riders go very fast, posing a danger to walkers and joggers. Stricter rules are essential to protect both us and the e-scooter riders,” she said.

“I request authorities to be more vigilant to curb the rise in dangerous behaviors among some riders. Many are seen riding on pedestrian paths, ignoring traffic signals, and even using their devices on highways,” Fatima added.


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