The Integrated Transport Centre (ITC) of the Department of Municipalities and Transport (DMT) in Abu Dhabi, in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Police GHQ, has announced new regulations on the use of bicycles, electric bikes and other micromobility devices in the Emirate.
This comes after the DMT issued the necessary decisions to implement the provisions of the new regulations.
The revised regulations aim to establish the highest standards of safety and security in both regular and electric bicycle use and rental, and include the necessary requirements for carrying out these activities along with bicycle users’ rules and technical requirements, in line with the best practices in this field.
The ITC confirmed that the new regulations, which apply to the use and/or supply or rental of bicycles for individuals and companies, come as part of efforts, in cooperation with the relevant strategic stakeholders, to diversify transport means and establish an integrated and sustainable system that improves the quality of services available to the community, and to support leniency towards environmentally friendly transport modes in Abu Dhabi.
Bicycle riding combines sport with transport for short-distance commuting, and as a “first and last mile” service linking public bus stations, shopping malls, services and residential areas, promoting integration in the transport network and enabling community members to reach their destinations quickly and at a very low cost.
The new regulations regarding bicycles also include rented bicycles, the use of electric bikes, scooters and all micromobility devices that can be used on the road or bicycle lanes.
The regulations stipulate that only one rider can ride a bicycle, scooter or electric bike, using the lanes dedicated to bicycles, and safety and protective helmet procedures must be followed at all time while riding the abovementioned means.
Cyclists and users of micromobility devices can only use the lanes and roads intended for bicycles, and in case there are none in the area they wish to cycle, they must use side-roads where the speed limit is usually 20 kilometers per hour, and they must stay on the far right-hand side of the road or sidewalks and pavements dedicated to the use of bicycles.
Bicycle safety instructions and procedures must be followed at all times, and any stunts that are dangerous or compromising to riders, pedestrians or any other road user must be completely avoided.
In addition, the regulations pertaining to the riding all kinds of bicycles and micromobility devices clearly stipulate that a rider must wear a protective helmet and reflective clothing at night time, and they can only park their bikes in designated areas and not leave them anywhere where they could impede the movement of vehicles or pedestrians, and they must not chain them to traffic light posts or street lighting poles.
The traffic regulations also state that bicycle riders must give priority to pedestrians and decrease their speed at intersections and crossroads, while keeping a safe distance between themselves, vehicles and pedestrians.
It is completely prohibited for bicycle riders to hold on to any other vehicle, or even enter in the air space of any high or low speed vehicle while on the move.
It is completely prohibited to travel in the opposite direction of the road under any circumstances at all.
The Integrated Transport Centre allows companies involved in the rental of electric bicycles to resume their activity in accordance with the provisions and requirements of the regulations, and any individual or company is prohibited from engaging in bicycle or micromobility device rental activities until they have acquired an official permit issued by the Integrated Transport Centre. It is also required that electric bikes be rented to individuals aged 18 years or over.
In addition, the authorized operator is responsible for not operating any bicycle or mobility device that does not conform with the approved technical specifications, and is obligated to ensure regular periodic maintenance of bicycles and/or devices according to the regulations and specifications of the Department of Municipalities and Transport and the Integrated Transport Centre. All bicycle and micromobility device renting or operating facility is also obliged to ensure that a phone number is made available to all riders through which they can be contacted in the event of any emergency or malfunction during the use of their bicycles and/or devices.
This is in addition to providing a notice clearly stating the requirements and safety instructions for riding bicycles and electric bicycles through the establishment’s smart application and also attaching it in sticker form to the body of the bicycle, advising users that bicycles are not to be stopped on pedestrian or road lanes, at entrances and exits to houses or buildings.
In addition, all electric bicycles must be fitted with a monitoring or tracking device (electronic GPS) that is compatible with the approved technical specifications. The new regulations aim to ensure that all smart transport systems conform to the standards and conditions stipulated by the DMT, while maintaining adherence to all requirements that ensure the safety and security of all parties involved, including the confidentiality, privacy and security of user information that is legally protected in accordance with the legislation in force, and providing sufficient insurance to properly cover road accidents for bicycle riders.
The regulations stipulate that bicycles and electric bicycles should be equipped a white headlight and a red taillight that can be turned on while riding at night, or a red light reflector, as well as a handlebar-mounted sound alert device and efficient brakes, at least on the rear wheel.
The regulations allow for the imposition of fines on any establishments and operators of bicycle and electric rental services, and their users, that violate any of the aforementioned regulations in order to safeguard the security and safety of individuals, be they riders, pedestrians or members of the community, and ensure traffic safety in general, in addition to avoiding any risk of damage to personal, private and public property. The Integrated Transport Centre has confirmed that it will apply fines and other deterrent measures established in the regulations in cooperation with the Abu Dhabi Police.
The ITC is in the process of issuing manuals of procedures, requirements and regulations for bicycle riding and the use of all micromobility devices, including the technical specifications and requirements for personal and commercial use, in accordance with the highest standards of security and safety.
The ITC also stated that it would begin issuing business permits to companies wishing to supply services in this field, in addition to kick-starting the necessary awareness-raising campaigns, in cooperation with its relevant strategic stakeholders, before the penalties and fines listed in the regulations are imposed on violators.
The ITC invites all those involved in bicycles, electric bikes and micromobility devices in any way to comply with the provisions and requirements of the regulations and procedures issued.
For further information on the regulations, terms and conditions, provisions and requirements, please visit the website of the Integrated Transport Centre at www.itc.gov.ae.