Local Transport Minister Norman Baker last week hosted the UK’s first summit to “thrash out solutions to end the misery caused when lorry and car drivers follow out of date directions from their satnavs”. Right…
Anyone who’s ever used a satnav can testify that when they get it wrong, it’s incredibly frustrating. With new roundabouts popping up here, there and everywhere, it’s very difficult for manufacturers to keep on top. So as soon as you drive your shiny new motor from the forecourt, in fact even before that car’s been built, the maps will be out of date. I guarantee it.
But out-of-date maps aren’t the only problem. People think that because they have satnav, they can stop concentrating on where they’re actually going, safe in the knowledge that the TomTom perched atop their dashboard will get them home safe and sound. Not so.
While I appreciate driving around somewhere you’re unfamiliar with can be a daunting experience, that’s no excuse to abandon your common sense and rely wholly on the voice in the machine.
I live not far from a well-known jam factory, so naturally you’d expect to see a fair few delivery trucks around the local village. And you do, though many of the drivers seem to have left all their common sense back at the depot. I’m forever flattening my car against the hedgerow, so that gigantic Dutch juggernauts can inch their way past, following their navigation systems without reproach.
Just because your satnav tells you to drive your 30 ton truck down a single track road, which is obviously not where you want to go, doesn’t mean you should. Nor should you drive into the sea, off a cliff or onto a railway line.
So, the moral of the story is, don’t be an idiot. If your satnav instructs you to “Turn left into the North Sea”, just say no.