Scooters And One Wheels

Two killed in e-scooter crashes in Dubai ‘did not stand an opportunity’

Two people killed in e-scooter crashes in Dubai were injured so badly that they died on the way to the hospital, police said.

Senior officers in Dubai attended 21 serious accidents involving e-scooters in 2021, including two fatalities. A further 10 serious accidents were recorded between January and June of this year.

Hundreds more minor accidents are believed to have happened but did not require police to attend. No nationwide figures were made available.

At a press conference in Dubai on Wednesday, senior police officers from forces across the country said that more lives would be lost without greater awareness by riders and motorists.

There was an incident of a rider transporting gas cylinders on his e-scooter and another transporting three people

Brig Salem Al Dhaheri, Federal Traffic Council and Abu Dhabi Police

Brig Ahmed Al Naqbi, head of traffic awareness at the Federal Traffic Council and head of the traffic division at Ras Al Khaimah Police, said every death was preventable.

“The numbers are not alarming, but we want to prevent more e-scooter accidents from happening,” he said.

Local laws in Dubai and Abu Dhabi make it an offense to ride an e-scooter, or a bicycle, without a helmet. But riders without helmets are a common sight and police want to tackle this.

Hiring an e-scooter, which does not come with a helmet attached, is one of the issues about which officers need to create awareness.

Dubai Police said the crashes last year injured 19 people, 12 of whom suffered moderate injuries. Between January and June 2 this year, 10 e-scooter accidents were dealt with by the emirate’s traffic police.

The incidents last year led to two deaths, in Al Nahda on the Sharjah border and in Jumeirah Village. The scooters the victims were riding were hit by vehicles.

Three other people were taken to hospital with severe injuries and five more sustained minors to moderate injuries.

Shattered elbow led to surgery

Last month, a rider told The National how she shattered her elbow and required surgery after losing her balance and falling.

Pinky Caballero, a hospital nurse, needed surgery during which metal rods were inserted into her arm after the accident.

Ms Cabellero, who was wearing a helmet and chest protector at the time of the accident, crashed a short distance from her home in the Al Waleed building in Barsha, close to the Mashreq Bank Metro Station.

“The streets were quite crowded, so I couldn’t go very fast. I just lost balance,” she told The National.

Col Juma bin Swaidan, deputy head of Dubai Police’s traffic department, said authorities are acting.

“Using e-scooters has recently become very popular among members of the public, some of whom even use them to go to work,” Col Juma said.

“A committee comprising members from traffic departments and transport authorities across the country are currently working on a draft law to regulate the use of e-scooters.”

Among the topics being discussed is to dedicate roads for e-scooter riders across all emirates to help stop their random use that may cause fatal accidents.

“The severity of injuries that result from accidents involving electric scooters is far more serious than those resulting from other types of accidents,” Brig Ahmed said.

“These accidents [can be] fatal and can cause severe head injuries and multiple fractures.”

Riders in Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah have been spotted using e-scooters to transport goods and people.

“There was an incident of a rider transporting gas cylinders on his e-scooter and another transporting three people,” said Brig Salem Al Dhaheri, a Federal Traffic Council member from Abu Dhabi Police.

One accident involving e-scooters in Sharjah this year led to a clampdown on riders who are not following safety rules and resulted in 168 electric scooters being confiscated between January and April.

“E-scooters are being dealt with in the same way we deal with bicycles, and riders who use e-scooters on main roads will get their e-scooters confiscated,” said Capt Saud Al Shaiba, director of traffic awareness at Sharjah Police.

In Dubai, riders must pass an online test that focuses on the rules of the road. People who hold a valid driving license are exempt.

In one month after announcing that permits were required, the emirate’s Roads and Transports Authority issued about 22,000 permits.

“Large numbers of people have applied for permits and when they do, they are provided with all the safety information they need,” said Hussain Al Banna, executive director at RTA.

Updated: June 08, 2022, 1:48 PM

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