25 September, 2006

Fast and the Furious - Dubai Drift & Crash!

7days today reported a new danger to hit UAE roads.

"SAND-X, the world’s fastest quad bike is facing a stormy reception in the UAE as the high-speed sand vehicle prepares to launch here. The quad, which is being touted as the fastest and safest sand vehicle around, has a maximum speed of 120 miles per hour (180kph) and can accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than three seconds - that’s quicker than a Ferrari Enzo.

But the quad’s power and speed have many people worried because quad bikes do not require licensing or registration here in the UAE and the Emirates have witnesses several tragic accidents in past years, most recently the death of a young UAE local who crashed his quad into a car on a road in Dubai. Sonia Matar, the mother of 14-year-old Gabriella, who died in a quad bike accident last year, was outraged when she was told about the new vehicle and concerned that teenagers could be allowed to operate such powerful bikes without proper training and licensing."

In July, the Dubai Traffic Department carried out a campaign against the quad bike menace. The Gulf News quoted Major Hassan Abdul Razzaq, Deputy Director of Bur Dubai Traffic Control Department, "...youngsters between the ages of 10 and 19 were riding most of the quad bikes and motorbikes that police confiscated in July. Most complaints come from three areas in Bur Dubai, which are Jumeirah Beach, Al Safa area, especially around Al Safa Park and Al Quoz,"

With already the accident rate and death toll rising on UAE roads, there is surely going to be some stunts worthy of Action TV on the roads. This is a disaster waiting to happen, compounded by two factors - Under-aged drivers and no training required.

There will soon be a growing market for armoured cars, the only thing which "may" save lives incase of a direct collision with a Sand-X quad travelling as fast if not faster than a Ferrari.


ali said...

Speed Is Speed :)

nzm said...

Why don't they just make licensing quad bikes mandatory?

Or do they not have driving instructors who can teach people how to drive them? :-)

Tim Newman said...

How about parents refrain from buying their spoiled little brat 14 year old children high-powered quad bikes? Or is that a bit harsh on little Ahmed?

DG said...

Tim, I agree with you. Parents are to be blamed for this. They try to bribe their kids to compensate for the long time they spend away from their families. Some parents, God guide them, opt for short cuts like this to show their children that they love them. This is wrong & should be discouraged.

Tim Newman said...

They try to bribe their kids to compensate for the long time they spend away from their families.

They do, but perhaps more often they try to use their children as an expression of personal wealth by buying them expensive items which they know will be displayed in front of other children/parents.

trailingspouse said...

I saw one of these SAND-X machines on a trailer in the parking lot of Dubai Marine Beach Resort a couple of months ago. It's actually based on a snowmobile, but with the front skis replaced by wheels. At the back there is a track, rather like a tank. I doubt you could ride one very far or very fast on asphalt, although I'm sure they're very fast on the dunes.

Most of the complaints from the public about quad bikes seem to be about them being used on public roads, which is already illegal, just not well-enforced. However I'm sure most of the serious accidents happen out in the desert - people jumping them off the tops of dunes, etc - which is probably impossible to police.

They are Swiss designed and the guys I saw at Dubai Marine were Swiss, so I only hope they are responsible about offering driver training with every sale.

jumana said...

I live in a community not far from the Gardens and the quad bike teenage maniacs I see daily are all "little Tonys and Katies"! 'Little Ahmeds' are not the only local brats needing parental supervision.

Mme Cyn said...

Let's hope they can't go on the roads at all, nzm. If the teenagers want to kill themselves out in the desert, that's fine by me. Frankly, any parent irresponsible enough to give their kid one of these deserves the dead teenager he will probably get.

The quad bike thing becomes a problem when it involves innocent bystanders. And, as you say, currently there is no policing.

(Clearly, this place is really getting to me this week.)

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