Kuwait Mile and crowd safety

Posted by Mark

This past weekend the Kuwait Mile event was held where around 500 cars signed up to race down a mile long strip of the highway. The event was a success with lots of interest but sadly there were two accidents (which I am aware of) that took place that day. Accidents at a racing event are absolutely normal but what I was surprised with was the lack of safety barriers between the track and the crowd.

fence

In the video on top of one of the accidents, the car loses control and luckily crashes into the barrier on the left. If the car had headed to the right instead then there might have been some serious injuries since there was only a metal fence separating the viewers from the track (check the screen grab above).

After I found out about the accident I started checking out photos and videos of the event and noticed a fire truck parked on the side of the track. I quietly thought to myself that can’t be safe for the driver if his car crashes into it and I thought of the Jules Bianchi crash in Suzuka this past year. Later on in the day a car crashed hard into the fire truck and luckily missed some firemen who were standing next to the truck as well.

It’s pretty cool that more motorsporting events are taking place in Kuwait but a catastrophic incident at one event would end up setting us back a very long time.


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Salhiya Valet Crashes Porsche

Posted by Mark

valet1

I have no idea how this happened but somehow a valet driver at Salhiya managed to crash a Porsche hard into a pillar inside their underground parking lot. Hopefully the valet driver is fine but damn wtf?

valet2


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Review: Garmin Dash Cam 10

Posted by Mark

dashcam

Dashboard cameras are cameras you mount in your car and record everything that takes place in front of you while you’re driving. I’ve been wanting to get a dash cam for sometime now but majority of the dash cams I had seen online were cheap looking no name ones. Although they were all very affordable and some had even gotten some great reviews, I was holding out for something better. If I was going to mount the camera on my windshield and have it in my face all day, I wanted something that at least looked decent and well made. Then out of the blue Garmin announced they were releasing a dash cam one day and I knew that was the one I was getting.

I’ve had the Garmin Dash Cam 10 for a few weeks now so I feel ready to give it a proper review.


[YouTube]

As expected, like all their products the Garmin Dash Cam is very well built. The unit feels very solid and looks great… until you mount it up on your windshield that is. I had a Garmin Navigator previously mounted in my car and it looked really sleek. I had the USB power cable come up from behind the dash board and plug in to the rear of the unit and because the suction cup is behind the unit the navigator looked like it was floating in front of the windshield. In my head I imagined the same would apply to the dash cam but I couldn’t have been so wrong. Even though the Garmin Dash Cam is pretty compact, once you connect the large suction cup to it and mount it into place it instantly doubles in height and becomes quite bulky. Then to make matters worse is the location of the USB plug, it plugs into the bottom right hand side of the device. That means I have ugly wire clutter around the unit adding to the overall visual pollution I now have on my windshield. I don’t understand why Garmin couldn’t have found a better solution, it’s like the designer who worked on the unit didn’t take anything into consideration. I mean they should have know people would most likely mount the dash cam on the left side of the windshield near the driver like everyone does with their navigators or that they will be mounted in the center of the windshield. So why would you have the power plug on the right? Wouldn’t it make sense to have it either on the left, the back side (like with my Garmin Navigator) or on the top left side of the device?

With those negatives out of the way it’s time to talk about some of the positives. The device works great. I have my unit set up to turn on and start recording automatically when I start the car and then to shutoff and stop recording when I turn off the car. I also have it set up so that once the memory card runs out of space to start recording over older videos. That means the dash cam operates continuously without any sort of action from me which is very convenient.


[YouTube]

The video quality isn’t anything close to say GoPro quality but then again these videos serve a different purpose. The camera can record up to 1080p and as you can see in the sample videos the license plates are easy to read both during the day and night. Obviously having a clean and crack free windshield improves the quality and in my videos you can see one of my window cracks on the right side of the footage which is a bit annoying but there isn’t anything I can do about it.

The Garmin Dash Cam 10 costs $200 which is really expensive compared to other more popular no brand dash cams. I originally didn’t mind paying this much because I expected a product that would be visually pleasing when mounted but now I know the Garmin is overpriced. The quality of the footage isn’t so different from the no name dash cams neither is the operating method so the Garmin really doesn’t have a major advantage to cost this much. But, since I already bought mine its too late for me but for anybody else I’d recommend they look at the alternatives carefully before deciding on the garmin.

For those interested, here is the dash cam on [Amazon]
They have the Dash Cam 20 as well which comes with GPS and records other data like your speed. I would recommend not going with that option if you tend to speed a lot.


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Red Bull Car Park Drift

Posted by Mark

cpd1

Red Bull sent me to Dubai this past weekend to watch the Red Bull Car Park Drift finale that was taking place there. The Red Bull event was actually part of a full day of activities all automotive related that was being held at the Meydan Race Track as part of the UAE National Day celebrations. There were a ton of activities taking place with the whole thing kinda feeling like a super large car meet since there were lots of personal cars being displayed all over the place ranging from pimped out Camaros all the way to Bugattis. The Red Bull Car Park Drift was the last event taking place that day so there was a huge crowd that had gathered all around the track to watch the finals.

cpd3

Drifting for those of you who don’t know is a driving technique where the driver intentionally allows the car to lose traction and slide sideways while still maintaining control of the car. Since I was invited to the event by Red Bull I had access to the media area which is where I took all my shots from. There were 16 competitors taking place in the final including ones from Kuwait who didn’t end up performing too well. I personally loved the driving style of Ali Al Bloushi from Oman whom I thought for sure would end up winning but sadly ended up coming second.

cpd2

The setup and the whole event including the location was just fantastic and Red Bull is now planning to bring the finals to Kuwait next year. If it ends up with a setup thats even remotely close to the Dubai event then we’re going to be in for a treat.


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Fuel Prices will Triple

Posted by Mark

knpc

A letter has been circulating via social media purportedly from KNPC on the new pricing for diesel and kerosene. The new prices are nearly double triple the current prices and will go into effect starting from January 1st. The letter does not mention if gasoline prices are going to increase so I guess we’re fine for now.


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LaFerrari in Kuwait

Posted by Mark

laferrari

A friend spotted the LaFerrari near the Avenues this morning. Only 499 off them were built and each costs around KD500,000 but, since it’s limited, you need to own at least five Ferraris to be even considered by Ferrari to let you buy one.


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New emergency lane cameras

Posted by Mark

emergencylane

Two readers sent me pictures of a new emergency lane camera that was just setup on the 5th ring road between road 50 and 55. According to a reader the camera was flashing every car driving on the emergency lane so let me be the first to say thank you to whomever came up with this idea. I love it!

Thanks Omar and Dragos


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Kuwait’s version of a car boot sale

Posted by Mark

carboot

I snapchatted this earlier but thought it was funny enough to share here as well.


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Red Bull Failaka Showdown

Posted by Mark

This is a new promotional video for Red Bull Kuwait in which they’ve pit a free-runner against a drifter and shot the whole thing on Failaka Island. It’s a well made made video that will make you want to go exploring around Failaka. [YouTube]

freerunner


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Emergency Lane Rules

Posted by Mark

portablecameras

Alqabas newspaper published emergency lane rules a few days ago and Buzfairy was nice enough to translate them into English.

Rules for using the emergency lane in Kuwait:
– Left emergency lane only
– Only if police cars are present
– Right one still just for emergency services only
– 45KM maximum speed
– 6:30AM-9:00AM into the city and 12:30PM-3:30PM out of the city
– Specific instructions regarding our 3 main highways – King Abdulaziz: from 3rd to 6th ring roads – King Fahad (road 40): from 1st to 6th ring roads – King Faisal: from 4th to 6th ring roads

Although this does help ease congestion slightly I think they could have improved on the idea by turning the emergency lane into a carpool lane. That would have helped ease traffic even further.


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