Driver takes GPS to top of cliff -- and nearly over
By Christopher Null
I hate to admit this, but horror stories about people following the directions of their GPS units with utter abandon just never get old. I can't count how many times I've read about drivers that have ended up in various bodies of water, but this is the first time in recent memory that I've heard about a GPS enthusiast that's found himself about to drive off a cliff.
This week's installment of bad driving comes from the UK, where a 43-year-old man named Robert Jones drove a $45,000 BMW off the main road and onto an unpaved trail designed for horses, bicycles, and pedestrians, after his GPS unit told him to take the unusual way home.
Jones, delivering the vehicle from a town he was unfamiliar with, followed the path up a steep hill and through "increasingly perilous conditions," and didn't stop until he hit the fence that kept his car from going over a cliff at the top of the hill.
Rescue workers spent nine hours getting the car back down.
Jones later faced legal charges from a local court for "driving without due care and attention," and he was convicted by the court after the judge decreed that he should have paid more attention to the road and less to the blinking lights on the little screen on his dashboard. Jones now stands as one of the first drivers to be convicted in the country for overdevotion to GPS and failure to yield to common sense. The penalty: About $1000 in fines and 6 points on his license.
Jones is unapologetic, saying that it's the first time GPS has let him down and that he had no idea things could go so badly awry. But courts seem to be getting increasingly tired of such incidents, with the Telegraph claiming that overreliance on GPS is now responsible for "hundreds of thousands of extra accidents" on the roads of Britain. All because of something that's supposed to help people find the best way from point A to point B?