'My friend hit a child': Dubai e-scooter riders share dangers they face on roads

While accidents have resulted in some residents giving up the mode of transport altogether, others say responsible riding can mitigate the risks

by

Waad Barakat

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Supplied photos
Supplied photos

Published: Wed 7 Feb 2024, 4:16 PM

Last updated: Wed 7 Feb 2024, 11:02 PM

As e-scooters continue to gain popularity as a convenient mode of transportation in the UAE, we take a look at the flip side of these vehicles, and why responsible riding is so important.

An anonymous resident recounted a story where a friend accidentally collided with a small child while riding at full speed at Kite Beach in Dubai, despite being on the designated line for e-scooters and bikes. Fortunately, the child escaped injury, but the incident served as a wake-up call, prompting him to stop using e-scooters altogether.

This incident highlights the importance of responsible riding and the potential dangers that can arise when safety precautions are overlooked.

Wake-up call

An Celestial, a resident in the UAE since 2016, had an accident while riding an e-scooter last year. She fell off the scooter due to a bump on the road, resulting in a head trauma and a black eye. The accident forced her to take two weeks off from work to recover. An has been riding an e-scooter for three years on a daily basis, and despite the accident, she continues to use the e-scooter as it’s the most convenient commute to her work.

An Celestial
An Celestial

She says, "Everyone should be extra cautious and follow the rules. As for RTA, I really think they should provide more access and designated areas for e-scooters, especially for those working in isolated areas like Al Quoz, because it’s challenging for riders to navigate through crowded pedestrian spaces."

Abu Dhabi Police recently used their social media platforms to remind residents to use e-scooters only in designated locations and highlighted the dangers of riding them elsewhere. It is evident that the authorities too are emphasising the importance of responsible riding, with reminders for motorists to abide by the rules and calls for parents to monitor their children's activities.

Responsible attitude

Despite the potential dangers, a lot of UAE riders remain committed to using e-scooters as their preferred means of getting around, while also shedding light on encounters with law enforcement and the consequences of reckless riding habits.

Mohammad Inaim, a 23-year-old boxing coach and personal trainer residing in Dubai, shared his experience using an e-scooter for daily commutes. "Most of my clients are in Marina, but I live in Al Furjan, so I use the scooter to get to the nearest metro station," he explains. Inaim started using an e-scooter because the Dubai metro stations are easily accessible and the roads in the city are flat and easy to navigate.

He has not encountered any close calls while riding to the Discovery Gardens metro station, thanks to the helpful wall signs and ample riding space. Inaim diligently uses the bell on his scooter to alert pedestrians of his presence and stresses the importance of cautious riding due to the presence of cars.

Filipino expat Earvin, who has been riding an e-scooter since he arrived in the UAE two years ago, shared his positive experience. He finds it convenient to access the metro and commute to work using his e-scooter, saving him time and effort. Although he sometimes forgets his helmet, Earvin understands the importance of wearing safety gear and carries a reflective jacket for nighttime rides. In his two years of riding, he has never encountered any difficulties or dangerous situations.

Earvin
Earvin

Earvin shared his opinion with Khaleej Times regarding reckless e-scooters on the street, saying, "That's just bad practice because even without safety gear, you should be careful. You don't have to speed around and [you should be] be mindful of whatever is happening around you."

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