The cabinet on Monday approved legislation regulating the use of scooters or e-scooters, including minimum specifications and safety measures.

The bills were prepared by the transport ministry in a bid to ensure road safety, as the use of such vehicles appears to be on the rise.

According to the bills, a scooter is any self-propelled device using any form of energy, which can carry a seated or standing person. The device has handlebars, a drive shaft, and at least two wheels.

Anything that does not conform with the legal definition regarding personal mobility devices, such as hoverboards and skates, will be prohibited from use on public areas/roads.

Scooters can be used in bicycle road or lanes, or any other area that constitutes an extension of a bicycle road – common space used by cyclists and pedestrians.

They can also use pavements or squares provided the local authority has permitted their use in such areas.

Users must be 16 and above. Protective helmets are mandatory.

Rental scooters must carry insurance coverage for third parties.

The minimum equipment scooters must have are brakes, lights – rear and front – tyres and a bell.

Their maximum speed should not exceed 15km/hour. The ministry warned consumers must be careful regarding their choice of scooter if they want to use them in public areas after the law comes into force.

The bills also introduce obligations for importers, manufacturers and sellers as regards minimum equipment and maximum speed.

Rental companies will be licenced by local authorities.

The bills also introduce offences and penalties though no details were immediately available.