License required if you’re riding an e-bike in Dubai

Electric bikes, trikes, and scooters have become one of the fastest-growing modes of transportation here in the country, largely thanks to the public transport limitations brought about by the pandemic and the never-ending rise in fuel costs.

Unfortunately, the popularity of these electric personal mobility devices (PMDs) has also resulted, in some way, in the proliferation of riders who do not follow even the most basic traffic laws.

There are those who disregard a traffic light or sign, while others, who are mostly middle-aged women, drive their electric trikes in the middle of the highway at 10 kph – effectively making themselves road hazards. Well, we can’t really blame them as they are currently not required to possess a driver’s license, let alone undergo a driving seminar from the Land Transportation Office (LTO), and may have zero ideas about any of our traffic laws and regulations.

In Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), things are a little different, if you’re riding such an electric PMD.

Just recently, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, issued Executive Council Resolution No. (13), Series of 2022, effectively regulating the use of bicycles and electric bikes and scooters in Dubai.

According to Mattar Al Tayer, Director-General and Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), “the Resolution is aligned with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to raise living standards and promote sustainability in the emirate. The Resolution is also part of the Dubai Crown Prince’s directives to introduce laws and regulations as well as strong safety and security measures to ensure bikers traveling across the city can ride without a worry.”

In a nutshell, Dubai’s RTA will issue riders of PMDs a driver’s license in accordance with the regulations issued by RTA’s Director-General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors.

The RTA is also tasked with developing specifications regarding the use of bikes in Dubai and outlining the requirements for training on bikes in groups, in coordination with Dubai Police and relevant government entities including free zones and special development zones including the Dubai International Financial Center.

The resolution also adds that PMDs should be fitted with a white headlight and a red taillight in the rear. A bell should also be fitted to the PMD’s handlebar to warn pedestrians that might be walking on designated bicycle lanes across Dubai. Additionally, these PMDs cannot be ridden on roads that have a speed limit of more than 60 kph, or on places designated as jogging or walking tracks. The resolution also allows for minors 12 years and below to ride a bicycle, as long as they are accompanied by an adult, while riders of electric PMDs should be at least 16 years old and must have a license to operate an electric bike from the RTA.

Do you think that it is also time for the Philippines to regulate the use of these PMDs for everyone’s safety?