The growing popularity of electric scooters (e-scooters) as a mode of transportation in Qatar has reiterated calls for riders to wear proper safety gear and adhere to road traffic guidelines in order to prevent accidents.
It is learnt that a number of riders have sustained injuries from accidents attributed to speeding, and riding without helmets and reflective safety vests especially in the evening, apart from failing to check their scooters before using it.
Many e-scooter riders, commuters and pedestrians have urged other riders to strictly follow traffic rules and regulations, particularly when crossing roads and pedestrian lanes.
“It is good to see many e-scooter riders on my way to the office, but some of them seemed to be reckless and tend to ignore traffic signals, which I think is too dangerous for them and other commuters,” said Indian expatriate Sanjeev, adding that riders should always wear reflective and protective vests for their own safety.
Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), following reports of minor to moderate injuries sustained in a number of accidents involving e-scooters last month, advised Qatar residents to use these vehicles in a safe manner and "practice proven safe e-scooter use”.
A Facebook group named “Electric Scooter Qatar (ESQ)” has been on the forefront of promoting and raising awareness on responsible e-scooter riding in the country.
It also aims to educate the public and its members on the importance of road safety, and mandatory and proper use of safety gears.
ESQ member Jay Ar Yumul told *Gulf Times that one of the reasons why the group was formed is to have a good and responsible e-scooter riding community in Qatar.
He said that riders should have at least the basic knowledge like riding at a safe speed, keeping eyes on the road, and riding on the right/allowed lanes (not on main thoroughfares) as he highlighted the importance of following Qatar’s traffic laws.
In a number of posts on social media, the group also urged riders to refrain from using mobile phones while riding, and advises adults to wear proper helmets, goggles, elbow pads, gloves, knee pads, and proper shoes, to set an example for young riders.
The ESQ requires its members to adhere to a number of rules and regulations, such as: no wearing of shorts on quick/official rides, no loud music while riding, “pointing e-scooter headlights and auxiliary lights to a position that does not blind other vehicles or pedestrians”, wearing closed shoes (no slippers allowed), and pushing scooters once they enter metro stations and malls, and keeping them folded before reaching security checkpoints while at the station and in the train.