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Sat nav disasters

With news today of a driver’s terrifying ordeal on the edge of a sheer 100ft drop after he followed instructions from his sat nav, here’s more evidence that you shouldn’t always trust your handy electronic co-pilot.

A notorious gang of armed bank robbers were brought to justice because their bungling driver used his sat nav to check out locations for their raids. Adrian Johnson added the addresses of 12 banks into his device’s ‘places of interest’ while planning the robberies. When he was caught during a final raid, police computer experts used his Tom-Tom sat nav as crucial evidence to link him to previous hold-ups. The gang were eventually locked up for a total of 71 years for a spree of 21 bank jobs. Speaking after their trial, Flying Squad Detective Inspector Terry Wilson, who led the investigation, said: “There is no better evidence when you arrest somebody for a linked series of robberies at locations across the country and it was beyond our expectations.”

The 47-year-old decided to trust the navigation aid despite a road sign warning of dangers to heavy vehicles. His 17.5-tonne truck became jammed and he could not reverse up the sloping lane because of wet mud. He had to spend the night in his cab missing his son’s 18th birthday, and only escaped the next morning after rain washed away the sludge.

A motorist who drove along 20ft of a railway line told police officers his sat nav had directed him to turn on to the track. Officers found Satlegh Mohammadi stood next to his Ford Fiesta on the tracks after they were flagged down by Network Rail workers.  He claimed he had been listening to his satellite navigation system which instructed him to turn right at a town centre level crossing, driving, before realising his error. The blame for Mohammadi’s hair-raising ride couldn’t be laid solely on his digital navigator though. It was later alleged he had also been drinking before making the mistake.

Its not just common folk who suffer sat nav cock-ups. A security alert was sparked last year when Sarah Ferguson’s car was recently sold with royal address left in the sat nav. Police sold the Duchess of York’s Jaguar XJ6 for £12,000 at an auction last month but forgot to wipe the device’s memory. The sat nav contained the addresses of Fergie’s house in Surrey, and the home of Princess Beatrice’s 25-year-old boyfriend, Dave Clark, along with the route to and from notorious nightclub Boujis to the Princesses home.

A cab driver taking Earl Spencer’s daughter Katya to a Chelsea match ended up 146 miles off course in Yorkshire after a Buy Generic Cialis Online sat nav bungle.   Princess Diana’s niece – and a pal were to take the cab 85 miles from Althorp, Northants, to Stamford Bridge in West London. But the driver’s satnav directed him to the tiny village of Stamford Bridge, North Yorks, leaving the posh footy fan heartbroken after she missed the Blues earn a stunning 2-1 victory over rivals Arsenal.

Staying with the royal theme, a school bus driver ruined a class outing last year when he delivered a coach load of kids to a side street in north London instead of Henry VII’s former home. Orchard Lee Junior School’s outing had to be abandoned after the dozy driver followed directions from Kent to the not-so historically significant Hampton Court in Islington instead of the Tudor palace in Richmond-upon-Thames. At first no one noticed the error until a teacher on the trip realised that the only nearby landmark of note was infact Highbury and Islington Tube station.

The driver kept going for 200 yards before his vehicle unsurprisingly became stranded in the muddy river bed.  Keith Jarvis, owner of the Streamline taxi firm, said: “He was in the car with his trousers rolled up. Fish were swimming around the headlights.” A tractor had to be called to pull the Volkswagen Caravelle out of the River Nar near Swaffham, Norfolk.

A Belgian truck driver blamed his electronic way finder after leaving a £20k trail of destruction in his wake in Wadebridge. Directed by his sat nav into an unsuitable cul-de-sac, the hapless trucker put his foot down in a panic, ending his turning manoeuvre by ploughing over a mini roundabout, getting a car trapped under his lorry, and destroying five more vehicles.

Cheltenham and Gloucester workers on a Christmas beano to France were taken to the wrong country after a sat nav blunder diverted their coach seven hours off course.  The office outing was scheduled for the French city of Lille, but 50 members of the company’s sports and social club were diverted 98 miles away to a village of the same name across the border in Belgium. The driver eventually realised his mistake and turned round, with the group having just two hours to do their planned seasonal shopping before shops closed.

The grief caused by sat navs has caused residents of a small village in Glamorgan to take matters into their own hands. Frustrated by lorry drivers wrecking St Hilary’s narrow streets, villagers have put up self-made signs imploring heavy goods vehicle drivers not to trust their devices which are being blamed for a spate of vehicles becoming stuck in the area.

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