Know the law about using e-scooters in the emirate.
Question: I am planning to buy an e-scooter for my commute between home and office in Dubai’s Al Quoz. However, I have read reports about the police confiscating such scooters. Can you please advise about the legality of e-scooters in Dubai?
Answer: Pursuant to your queries, it should be noted that in October 2020, Dubai’s Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) had announced that residents are permitted to use e-scooters in designated areas.
Therefore, the provisions of Administrative Decision No. 208 of 2020 Concerning and Determination of the Technical Requirements for Using the Electric Scooter in the emirate of Dubai (E-scooter Law) and the Federal Law No. 21 of 1995 Concerning Traffic amended by Federal Law No. 12 of 2007 (UAE Traffic Law) are applicable.
Article 4 of the E-scooter Law states the mandatory technical requirements that an e-scooter should have. These include lights, warning and sound devices fixed on the driving handle of the e-scooter; proper braking system; tyres should be fit to use on road; installation of GPS; and the e-scooter should be designed as per the requirements and guidelines of the RTA.
Article 5 of the E-scooter Law states the obligations of the rider of the e-scooter: Riders should be more than 14 years old; wear a helmet; stop or park the e-scooter in the allocated parking zones; not use or leave the e-scooter in public places which may hinder the flow of traffic of other vehicles or general public; maintain distance between other vehicles on the road and people walking on footpaths; and refrain from holding or carrying any materials which may affect the balance of the e-scooter.
The individual should not ride the e-scooter with other passengers; should notify the authorities concerned of any violations or accidents; follow the traffic signals and instructions on the roads; follow the general safety measures, including wearing suitable clothes while using the e-scooter; and not ride the e-scooter in a dangerous way.
Further, Article 5 of the E-scooter Law specifically mentions that one should not ride the e-scooters on non-designated routes.
Based on aforementioned Article 5 of the E-scooter Law, you may ride an e-scooter from your home to office if your travel route is within the designated areas approved by the RTA.
In the event you ride an e-scooter in non-designated areas, you may be penalised or imprisoned as per the UAE Traffic Law. This is in accordance with Article 50 of the UAE Traffic Law, which states: “Whoever drives a vehicle on the road whilst suspended from driving by court order or by order of the Licensing Authority shall be sentenced to imprisonment for three months and / or to a minimum fine of Dh25,000.”
It should be noted that the police have the authority to confiscate e-scooters if an individual rides it in non-designated zones. This is in accordance with Article 60 (3) of the UAE Traffic Law, which states: “A policeman may confiscate a motor vehicle in case it is caught on the road being driven by a person without a licence or permission to drive it, unless he is exempted from same. In this case, the vehicle shall not be released except to a driver holding a driving licence and legally authorised to receive the vehicle.”
Ashish Mehta is the founder and Managing Partner of Ashish Mehta & Associates. He is qualified to practise law in Dubai, the United Kingdom and India. Full details of his firm on: www.amalawyers.com. Readers may e-mail their questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org or send them to Legal View, Khaleej Times, PO Box 11243, Dubai.