Tag Archives: Cars

Seatbelt T-shirts help Chinese dodge seatbelt laws

I admit seatbelts aren’t always comfortable, but we all know safety comes first! However, that doesn’t seem to be the case for some folks in China. Apparently, there’s a market for T-shirts that have a thick diagonal stripe going across the front to imitate the look of wearing a seatbelt. It blows my mind that people would actually spend money on this just to avoid the hassle of buckling up.

Online shops are selling these shirts for around $5 to $8, but the fine for not wearing a seatbelt is around $8 and two penalty points on your driver’s license. With a lenient penalty like that, no wonder why people are disregarding safety!

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Massage parlor and car wash outlet busted for offering free sex

Sometimes being a little too creative in your marketing strategy can get you in trouble. A massage parlor and car wash outlet in Malaysia was recently raided by the police for offering free sex to loyal customers who get their car washed over nine times within a certain time period. During the routine raid, nine Vietnamese women, believed to be prostitutes aged between 18 and 28, were arrested.

The clues that linked the sex ring to the car wash: suspicious customer loyalty cards as well as a stash of condoms hidden inside a microwave.

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(Thanks, Thai!)

Fake police car slows traffic in China

Look closely.  Drivers in China are slowing down instinctively after seeing what looks like a highway patrol car.  But after passing by the vehicle, it turns out it’s actually just a cardboard cutout placed on the side of the road!  The cutouts even have a solar-powered flashing light to make it look super realistic.  The point is to reduce speeding by making drivers think that cops are close.

Love it or hate it, you gotta admit it’s kind of amazing how people in China can figure out a cheap way to get the job done!

 

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Over 60 Chinese kids cram into 8-seater minivan

I gotta admit, living in a developing country skews your understanding of road safety.  Battling cars while balancing on my bicycle?  No problem.  Jaywalking like it’s my job?  Been there.  Cramming 64 kids into a minivan…OK, maybe that’s just going a bit too far.  In Qianan of China’s Hebei Province, police were stunned to find over 60 children squeezed into an eight-seater minivan.  The little ones were taken home safely in 12 police cars.

Check out the video below as the police unpack the van.  Crazy how the back seats have been taken out and replaced with benches in order to fit more kiddies.

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(Thanks, Dunks!)

Chinese driver beats traffic, drives on pedestrian overpass bridge

If you’ve ever been gridlocked in a god-awful traffic jam, then I know you’ve imagined how awesome it would be to do something crazy like cruise down the shoulder of the road, or pull into the divider and just speed down it, just like how James Bond does it in the movies to beat traffic.

Or like how Chinese drivers do it in Beijing.

You gotta check out the video below — this crazy driver apparently got fed up with the city traffic, and drove on the pedestrian overpass bridge.  WTF!

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(Thanks, Dunks!)

Good parking job or bad parking job?

Chinese people sure know how to utilize cramped spaces.  Check out this hilarious video of two cars trying to park in one parking spot. In my opinion, that’s skill.

Another Chinese takeover: China carmaker buys Volvo for $1.8B

geely volvoLast year, Chinese carmaker Geely could barely get any attention at international autoshows.  But yesterday, Geely acquired Volvo from parent company Ford–a transaction that the Financial Times describes as “emblematic of the shift in the global car industry’s centre of gravity from the US and western Europe to China.”

In January, China surpassed the U.S. as not only the world’s biggest producer of cars, but as the top buyer as well.

“I see Volvo as a tiger: it belongs to the forest and shouldn’t be contained in the zoo,” Li said in Mandarin to Business Week.  “The heart of the tiger is in Sweden and Belgium,” he said, talking about the two countries that Volvo has main plants in. “Its paws should extend all across the world.”

I did a bit of research, and found it funny (in a very fobulous way) how Chinese companies like Geely are competing with luxury carmakers like Mercedes, BMW and Rolls Royce by making Chinese knock-off versions.  For example, Shanghuan Automobile’s “CEO” is a copy of BMW’s “X5,” and Geely has their own version of the Mercedes and Rolls Royce.

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Gang jailed after "lucky 8" license plate battle

This week in Beijing, five men were jailed and fined after a violent fight over a license plate containing the lucky number “8888.”  The incident happened last year when plate number “8888″ was about to be issued.  The men, following orders from their ringleader who wanted the plate, used knives and clubs to attack people who came near a machine issuing license plates at Beijing’s vehicle registration center.  Several were injured, one even seriously hurt.

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Any Chinese fob knows that the Chinese word for “eight” sounds like the word for “to make money.” Ironically, each perpetrator was punished with an order to pay $8k.  Guess the number wasn’t so lucky after all.

Suzie

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Alternative transportation in Asia still greenest and cheapest

It might not be the speediest form of transportation, but it’s certainly environmentally-friendly.   In this new era of hybrids cars and natural gas vehicles, nothing is still quite as green as the bicycle trishaws  found in Asia.  These bicycle-driven vehicles are one of my favorite forms of transportation because it provides a unique view on the city that you can’t get from an air-conditioned car.

Different countries have their own names for these three-wheeled taxis–samlor in Thailand, trisikad in the Philippines, saika in Burma–but in all cases, they are zero-emissions and very affordable.  But, as with anything in Asia, make sure you bargain for the ride before you get on!

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Thanks to my brother, Duncan, for the pic from Beijing!

Suzie