MoI Stresses Importance of Studying Legal Aspects, Public Safety Requirements for E-Scooters

Doha, – The Ministry of Interior (MoI) held a workshop on Wednesday to study and explore remediation methods for the phenomenon of the prevalence of electric scooters (e-scooters) with the participation of representatives of traffic agencies in the Gulf Cooperation Council states (GCC), alongside a host of relevant entities in the country.

The event was held in implementation of the 39th meeting of Their Highnesses and Excellencies the GCC ministers of Interior based on the recommendations of the committee of General Directors of Traffic.

In a statement, MoI pointed out that the workshop intended to boost cooperation and joint action among Gulf traffic agencies, along with its tireless endeavors to optimize traffic safety levels, reduce traffic accidents through studying the e-scooter phenomenon, in terms of all legal and technical aspects, traffic safety requirements, the essential regulations to ensure safety of e-scooter users, as well as exploring best and appropriate means to handle the phenomenon of e-scooter prevalence.

The recommendations of the aforementioned workshop stressed the importance of determining a certain speed limit for e-scooters in certain places to be further identified by the competent authorities, along with the adherence to safety measures (Put on a helmet, install the reflectors, and check the wheels, brakes and chassis before use), the statement said.

It pointed out that using e-scooters should be essentially prohibited in pedestrian-designated places, ban its users from accompanying a person or carrying belongings that could potentially result in the e-scooter or driver losing their balance, in addition to banning the use of e-scooter in groups, or in a close distance, especially near pedestrian places and assembly points.

In addition, MoI stressed the significance of directing all companies operating e-scooters to essentially obtain valid insurance documents from the accredited insurance companies to insure users against potential damages during the operation period, as well as enacting essential legislation and include the (e-scooter with or without seat), placing a definition that distinguishes e-scooter from other electric bicycles with a seat, motorcycles, and bicycles, determining the detailed technical regulations that should be available in e-scooters, that overtly conform with the nature of Gulf communities, in terms of climate and the nature of traffic regulation of roads, as well as other recommendations that would bolster traffic safety pertaining to the use of e-scooters.

In this regard, the acting director of the Traffic Awareness Department, Brig Gen. Jassim Nasser Al Humaidi, said the MoI, represented by the General Directorate of Traffic, has been collaborating during the past period with the competent authorities in Qatar to discuss the phenomenon of e-scooter prevalence to attain the best and appropriate measures that would legalize its use in commensurate with the traffic situation in the country.

Afterward, he added, the Directorate took numerous steps regarding this topic, chief amongst which was the preparation of an overarching study on this phenomenon, as well as methods of handling it legally to ensure safety for all.

Al Humaidi noted that the General Directorate of Traffic in Qatar is significantly interested in addressing this phenomenon, whether in terms of legal aspects, or traffic safety requirements in continuation of the efforts aimed at optimizing safety on roads and proceeding with the advanced results it has achieved during the past years to reduce fatalities and injuries arising from traffic accidents below the global level.

He revealed the most important factors that cause traffic accidents and expose individuals’ lives to danger, in addition to causing traffic congestion and gridlock due to e-scooters being used on tracks when those scooters illegally exist on the main roads and pedestrian tracks without clear and compelling conditions of their use for individuals and companies that sell and rent them.

Al Humaidi outlined that regulating the use of e-scooters, setting conditions and legislations, as well as adhering to these regulations and reducing gridlock of vehicles are extremely essential that will never be achieved unless deep and practical discussions are held.

The workshop featured a myriad of useful work papers presented by MoI, represented by the General Directorate of Traffic, Ministry of Transport, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Public Works Authority (Ashghal), National Traffic Safety Committee, Qatar Transportation and Traffic Safety Center at Qatar University (QTTSC), and the Qatar General Organization for Standards and Metrology.

During the workshop, Assistant Director of the Hamad Injury Prevention Program at the Hamad Trauma Center, Dr. Aisha Obaid, delivered a presentation that included an overview about e-scooters, their use facts, revealing the statistics associated with the traumas the Center has treated due to e-scooter accidents, along with the critical tips and recommendations to prevent traumas in Qatar.

The Ministry of Transport presented a paper on the measures it has taken to allow the operation of e-scooters as a pilot phase in collaboration and coordination with relevant entities, in addition to the binding requirements and measures for operators, identifying the places where e-scooters are allowed to be used and compelling the companies to observe the well-known safety requirements.

In a related context, Ashghal presented a working paper that included e-scooter merits and demerits, safe use tips, as well as the requirements determined by the competent authorities and reviewing the experiences of some countries in using e-scooter, in terms of legal legislations and safety requirements.

The paper of the General Directorate of Traffic included a combination of measures and proposals that would bolster traffic safety and the safety of e-scooter users, with the paper of the National Traffic Safety Committee addressing the essential requirements and regulations to ensure users’ safety and its role in this framework.

The committee recalled the Qatar National Traffic Safety Strategy, identification of e-scooters, its technical specifications, requirements, and regulations of infrastructure, as well as the determination of driving tracks and regulations.

The MOCI introduced a paper that reviewed the types of e-scooters and their technical specifications, with the paper of QTTSC touching upon the legislation relevant to e-scooters in some countries.

The inauguration of the workshop was attended by a host of directors of departments at the General Directorate of Traffic, officers at the MoI, alongside representatives of competent authorities in the country.

Source: Qatar News Agency

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