Monday, April 24, 2006

GPS vs Common Sense: Round 2

In a recent post, I told you about GPS units in the UK taking drivers along a dirt track at the edge of a 100-foot cliff. In today's installment, motorists are driving into a river, despite prominent warning signs...

There is a lucrative new sport in the Wiltshire village of Luckington: fishing stranded motorists out of a ford at £25 a time.

Since a road closure, dozens of drivers have blithely followed directions from their satellite navigation systems, not realising that the recommended route goes through the ford.

Normally the water — the start of the River Avon — is about 2ft deep but it can swiftly double in depth after heavy rain. Every day since the main B4040 was closed after a wall collapsed on April 8 one or two motorists have been towed out, having either failed to notice or ignored warning signs. Some farmers have been charging £25 to give a tow with tractors.

The ford, known as The Splash, is in Brook End on the edge of Luckington, which is near Malmesbury. Lesley Bennett, 59, a Luckington parish councillor who lives by the ford, said: “When the car conks out the driver looks stunned. When you ask what happened, they say, ‘My sat-nav told me it was this way’.

via Times Online

I can't pass up this opportunity to comment on what my brother refers to as "nominal determinism." On one hand, the name of the ford "The Splash" certainly matches, although the name of the village needs some work!

The score to date: GPS 2, Common Sense 0