Monday, 6 October 2008

Possible help to resolve sat-nav woes

I've had several rants on this blog about sat-navs so it is nice now to have a bit of good news regarding the problems there have been with them. By and large they seem to work for the private motorist although I did relate a particular incident in East Devon where the car arrived at a brook when trying to traverse a totally unsuitable road: the car's owner had the embarrassment of burning out the clutch when trying to retrieve the situation. No it's their use by lorry drivers who seem to think that what has been designed for the humble car is also applicable to their needs that has really raised my ire.

At long long last there appears to be progress on sorting out this issue and this is thanks to the counties of Somerset and Suffolk. Software has been designed that can be downloaded onto a sat-nav which will take into account unsuitable roads for commercials and also such matters as weight and height restrictions. Who would be better than the local highways department to know all about such things. As I understand it this is a trial in these two areas at the moment and I would hope that it could be rolled out nationally in due course. Of course adjoining counties would need to talk to each other to ensure compliance where roads cross their shared boundaries.

Previously I had written that I understood from radio phone-ins etc that there were sat-navs for lorries already. If this is the case then it's possible that they are more expensive and if it's the HGV drivers footing the bill they may well be going for the cheapest option. My feelings about misdirected lorries aren't arising from any personal experiences, it's just that when I see something so obviously wrong I want to make a bit of a fuss about it! If you think I'm a bit OTT on this then read this piece here about lorries finishing up at a crematorium in Wales through being misguided by their sat-navs. Search around the blogs and many other examples of unintended consequences come to light.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: any damage to roads or buildings caused by juggernauts going where such vehicles shouldn't go must be paid for by the haulier, there is no room for compromise on this issue.

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