Satnav Leads Driver To 100ft Drop

by | Sep 17, 2009 | Uncategorised | 0 comments

If your satnav ever tells you to take a turn up a gravel path then it’s time to switch it off and pull out the map, otherwise you could end up with 6 points on your license and a hefty fine.

Photo: ROSS PARRY

Photo: ROSS PARRY

That’s exactly what happened to delivery driver Robert Jones, who turned a £30,000 BMW 5-series off the main road and up a dirt track simply because that’s the direction his satnav told him to go. It was night time, the car was low on petrol and Jones was unfamiliar with the area so he trusted the satnav’s directions.

Unfortunately the dirt track turned into a narrow and precarious bridal path and eventually the car hit a wooden fence. This was where Jones’ luck improved, as the fence stopped him from driving over the edge of a 100ft drop.

Jones was forced to call the police for help, and it took nine hours and three quadbikes to free the stricken BMW.

According to Waseem Raja, the prosecuting solicitor: “The defendant was using a Tom Tom satellite navigation system. The defendant followed that system to the letter, so much so it led him up a lane clearly unsuitable for motor vehicles.

“The path was such it was not designed for use of motor vehicles yet Mr Jones slavishly continued to follow the satnav system to the point where his eyes and his brain must have been telling him otherwise to such a degree he was not exercising proper control of the vehicle.”

Found quilty of driving without due care and attention Jones was given six points on his license, fined £370 and ordered to pay £500 costs. After the sentencing he asked manufacturers to do more to warn drivers that the devices are not flawless: “I’m extremely disappointed. I was using the satnav properly but users should be made more aware they should only use them as a guide,” he said. “I still use mine. It’s the only time it’s ever let me down.”

On the other hand, don’t put all your trust in technology, invest in a £5 map book and use your brain the next time your satnav tells you to do something that seems stupid.

Source: Daily Telegraph

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