Dubai: Should Electric Scooters Have License Plates? Experts Say Yes!

Dubai: Should Electric Scooters Have License Plates? Experts Say Yes!

Electric scooters are everywhere in Dubai. They're cheap, easy to get, and you don't need to register them. People use them to travel short distances instead of walking or using other transportation. But as more people use them, there are more risks for everyone. That's why experts think we should register them.

Recently, Dubai Police organized a talk about traffic safety, and they talked about registering electric scooters. Right now, if you want to ride an e-scooter, you need a permit from the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA). If you already have a motorcycle or driving license, you don't need an RTA e-scooter permit. But even though you need a permit to ride, you don't have to register battery-powered e-scooters like you do with other motorized vehicles, even though they're used as a way to get around.

Unique ID or number plate

"The suggestion to register e-scooters with a unique ID or number plate has many advantages,"

explained Thomas Edelmann, who founded RoadSafetyUAE.

"Firstly, it will help people understand that e-scooters are not toys but real vehicles meant for the road. This awareness can lead to safer riding habits,"

emphasized Edelmann.

"Registration would also remove the anonymity of riders. If there's an accident, both the e-scooter and the rider can be identified. Additionally, it would ensure that only permitted e-scooters, meeting specific criteria like speed, size, and type, are allowed on the road,"

he further explained.

For insurance purposes

Registering e-scooters will make it easier for riders to get insurance. They can choose to get extra insurance to cover personal injuries, like dental or fractures, if they have an accident while riding an e-scooter.

Edelmann pointed out that

"registration will help authorities like the police and RTA to keep better track of e-scooters."

This means they can monitor things like where e-scooters are parked if riders are following speed limits, and if the e-scooters meet certain specifications.

Growing safety concern

There's a growing worry about road safety because accidents involving e-scooters are getting more dangerous. Last year, Dubai Police reported that from January to August 2023, there were five deaths and 29 injuries from e-scooter accidents. Major General Saif Almazrouei, who heads the Dubai Police Traffic Department, said that during the same time, more than 10,000 fines were given to e-scooter riders who broke the rules.

Some risky behaviors include not wearing a helmet, carrying someone else or a heavy load that could make the e-scooter unsteady, and going faster than the speed limit. Some e-scooters have been changed so they can go faster than the maximum 60 km/h speed limit, which is dangerous.

Residents support more regulations

In a recent online survey conducted after e-scooters were banned from Dubai Metro and Tram trains, 71 percent of the respondents, which is 3,200 out of 4,500 people, supported the idea of having more rules for e-scooters in the UAE.

Many residents and drivers are complaining that e-scooters are being parked without care, blocking sidewalks, and taking up parking spaces in some popular residential areas in Dubai.

Dr. Mostafa Al Dah, who is an Emirati researcher focusing on transport safety and previously worked as the head of the Traffic Studies Section at Dubai Police, mentioned that there are various studies suggesting that local authorities worldwide should create appropriate regulations to address safety concerns related to micromobility devices.

Regarding the assumption that registering e-scooters could help prevent accidents, Dr. Al Dah noted that it's an idea that needs further investigation and analysis.

Will it be free of cost?

Experts suggest that registering e-scooters could be done without charging any fees. The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is offering driving permits for e-scooters at no cost, with the intention not to make money from it but rather to ensure safety and regulation.

News Source: Khaleej Times

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