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Driver slapped with 900 fine for following TomTom

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 17 Sep 2009

pocketgpsworld.comYou may recall the case of Robert Jones who blindly followed his SatNav and drove his 5-Series BMW down a dirt track in West Yorkshire, very nearly driving off the edge of a cliff as a result.

Calderdale Magistrates quite rightly levelled all the blame at Mr Jones rather than the SatNav and slapped him with a fine and costs amounting to nearly 900 in total along with six points for his foolishness.

The path is a bridleway and it serves as a timely reminder that SatNav is not an auto-pilot whose directions should be slavishly obeyed but instead it is a guide.

It is not a replacement for good observation and common sense. Sky News have a picture of the car teetering on the cliff edge here.

Posted by idf on Thu Sep 17, 2009 9:35 am Reply with quote

Finally a court with some common sense.

A SatNav is no different to a paper map - both can (and do) have errors; both can become out of date. When did people stop taking responsibility for their own actions?

Posted by p800 on Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:11 am Reply with quote

He must of been crazy to end up there, it is just a path. Just use the co-ordinates below, and follow the path back.

Google earth co-ordinates: 5342'16.49"N / 2 6'37.29"W

Posted by Jellyroll on Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:25 am Reply with quote

My wife and I walked up there just after it happened, and we decided that, had we been driving, we'd have kacked our pants long before we reached the point of no return!

Posted by JockTamsonsBairn on Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:34 am Reply with quote

Also mentioned here.


TomTom Go 940 LIVE (9.510, Europe v915.5074 on SD & 8.371, WCE v875.3613 on board)

Posted by Andy_P on Thu Sep 17, 2009 10:59 am Reply with quote

And somewhere else too....
I remember spending ages working out where the picture was taken from on Google maps, when they hadn't given much detail about where it was.

"Settling in nicely" ;-)

Posted by FrequentFlyer on Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:09 pm Reply with quote

The guy does 5000 miles a week (?)...company BMW .... deserves firing.

Posted by BigPerk on Thu Sep 17, 2009 1:18 pm Reply with quote

According to the article he is a car delivery driver. I wonder who the lucky recipient of that nice clean expensive BMW was?

(Navigon 70 Live, Nuvi 360)

Posted by Duddy on Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:20 am Reply with quote

p800 Wrote:
He must of been crazy to end up there, it is just a path. Just use the co-ordinates below, and follow the path back.

Google earth co-ordinates: 5342'16.49"N / 2 6'37.29"W

What a dummy.... Looking at Google Earth he must have requested "shortest route" my Tom Tom One V2 gives some very strange results when I try it for fun. i.e. I always go for quickest

HUAWEI P30 Pro (new edition) with Speedtrap Alert & alcatel1 for SatNav
CoPilot 10 with CamerAlert
RoadHawk in-car video
Reading glasses getting thicker as is my waist
Retired but want to go back to work for a rest.

Posted by hailstorm on Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:14 am Reply with quote

Just looked it up on my 540 and it is indeed marked as a road. I'm surprised that it hasn't been marked off using map share.

To be fair I've done a pretty stupid thing of driving up a footpath while trusting my satnav. To the left of me was a sheer drop and the footpath ahead didn't go anywhere. Took me about half an hour reversing it back out. Was relieved that I managed to get it out without a scratch or plunging the car over the side of the road.

Posted by idf on Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:19 am Reply with quote

hailstorm Wrote:
I'm surprised that it hasn't been marked off using map share.

Does anything get marked off by mapshare? Nothing I have ever reported (blocked roads, non-existent roads or wrong speed limits) have ever shown up on mapshare or been corrected several map versions down the line.

Posted by bbuk on Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:26 am Reply with quote

Yes, the guy was daft to follow such a track, but...


...the prosecution lawyer said you had driven down a bridleway. Looking at the local Highway Authority maps shows that --
-- the road is not marked as a bridleway;
-- the road appears on Calderdale maps as part of the 'Local Street Network' but no definition is shown of what this is

My suggestion is that the HA may have this route listed as a legitimate road, not a footpath or a bridleway, and that if they receive funding for maintaining these then they should be available for use.

I know SatNav gets a lot of stick, but I can't help but think that some of the source data from Highways Authorities is flawed...which is understandable considering the miles they have to look after.


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