The Doncaster man who slavishly followed his sat nav to the edge of a West Yorkshire cliff has been punished with a £370 fine, £500 costs, a £15 victim surcharge and six points on his licence for driving without due care and attention. Robert Jones, 43, was driving his £30,000 BMW 5 Series though the village of Gauxholme back in …
'nuf said ^
Bloody typical of many people these days...
Never take responsibility for your own actions - blame something or someone else. No doubt he'll try suing TomTom next. Twat.
Move alone, nothing to see here...
...just another moron in a BMW.
That is all.
Got off lightly - should have fined him more for clearly being a twat.
He should have carried on driving, he definately could have been a contender for the Darwin Awards, we could do with less BMW drivers in the world.
Ironically I can picture it now, he's falling and in a panic he accidently hits his indicator arm and switches them on "oh that's what they do"... CRASH.
On the initial read of this in my feeds I was thinking it was going to be some trumped up charge the police had given some faultless driver. Police harassing drivers kind of thing like they do with photographers etc.
But now I realise that pure stupidity is to blame; I'm hoping I'm not the only one who wonders how these people actually manage to survive in life? Or is this a trait only for those who drive BMWs?
Paris - Because she knows natural selection will prevail...
What a complete f**kwit.
I'm surprised the idiot remembers how to breathe.
Let's all blame the technology because of the user's stupidity...
So this guy wasn't on the public road. Wasn't putting anyone else at risk (unless they'd happened to be picnic-ing under the cliff edge) and didn't do any damage, except to a piece of fence and maybe the bodywork of his car. While no-one would disagree that what he did was dumb I can't see his "crime" was commensurate with the costs he was ordered to pay and a fine on top AND THEN the costs to recover his car. As for a £15 "victim surcharge"? Taking the mickey or what?
From the small number of farmers I've met and talked to, I'd expect this one who owned the path would've been happy with £100 to fix his fence and for another £100, would've hitched the car to his tractor and given the guy a tow - at least back off the edge. Why were the police even involved in this situation on private land?
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"seriously wrong turn when he hit a fence on the edge "
I'm glad that common sense has prevailed and he's been punished. He clearly didn't see the fence or was looking at the road. Glad he didn't mow down any people on the footpath he was driving down ... what a cock!
"users should be made more aware they should only use them as a guide"
Really? Because mine tells me to obey it slavishly whenever i turn it on.
Oh, and while we are at it, the little stalk on the side of the steering wheel that appears to have no function is for your indicators.
Quoted for truth...
He said: "I might have been an idiot by taking the wrong road or by carrying on, but I haven't driven without due care and attention."
If he had paid attention, he wouldn't have got himself into the mess he did.
Seems like this device was trying to off the user and make it look like an accident. They're getting more crafty by the day...
Be vigilant my fellow fleshies!
So he was fed two contradictory pieces of information and went with the wrong one, why is this a huge fine and incredible penalty points?
"the point where his eyes and his brain must have been telling him otherwise to such a degree he was not exercising proper control of the vehicle"
Rubbish, he made a bad choice, and had to go on. If you couldn't get his car out, except with Quads, how is he supposed to do it? It wouldn't be the first time a muddy farm track is a real road.. That sounds like a laughable mistake turned into a police incident by the twats in blue and a typical smug magistrate point scoring.
RE: Sounds harsh
If he had been exercising this level of care and attention on the public road, which he would've been on before going on to private land, then he WAS putting other people at risk. The point was that he was paying more attention to his satnav than to what was ahead of him, which he would've been doing before driving up the bridle path.
I'm undecided about this one. While he clearly could have used a bit more common sense, the path in the pic looks like it might just be able to take a car (at least until it ran off a cliff) and one would tend to think that if it's shown as a road on TomTom, it should be a road in real life. Then all of a sudden a cliff jumps out of nowhere and there you are, teetering on the edge with your axles on view to the world.
Yes, it's unwise to rely exclusively on satnav.
Yes, he could have used some common sense.
Yes, the AA was probably right to charge him for getting him out of his predicament, but being taken to court and given harsher penalties than yobbos who beat up grannies for their pension money? Come on.
In my fondest poetic justice dreams, I'm fantasising about the judge driving home from court, following his undoubtedly very expensive inbuilt satnav, and driving through his own front window because he programmed it to take him home, and it assumed 'home' meant in the living room, on the sofa.
Oh, and then being prosecuted for criminal damage, being pilloried in the press for not having the sense to program in 'driveway' instead of 'home', given a million billion pound fine, losing his license for the next infinity+1 years and being ordered to do 10,000 hours community service checking every inch of TomTom's maps to make sure they are accurate to the nearest millimetre.
"So this guy wasn't on the public road."
He was on a Public Bridleway which is still classed as a Highway.
5000 miles a week??
"Jones, who had been using the system since December 2008 and said he was left in shock by the incident, added: "I drive 5,000 miles a week and I never have had a problem with it. I had no reason not to trust it."
For someone who drives 5000 miles a week (surely not??) he deserves everything he got - stupid bugger should know better!
Tom Tom is often barmy but I still use it
I have a Tom Tom and feed back errors to the makers but still it tells me to go through the unmade car park of a heritage railway station or to use a farm track with gates on it rather than the B road that I should take near our village. Ofen i can't even see the track it claims I should take. But it doesn't take a Nobel prize winner to spot that Tom Tom just uses Ordnance Survey maps without checking whether a marked track is actually suitable for a car so you have to be aware that you can, literally, be led up the garden path.
I can just imagine the bewilderment at SkyNet: 'Fnck me - they really are that stupid'. Now all our satnavs will turn against us and send us heading towards Beachy Head.
@ Sounds harsh
Not really. He's been fined for being a twat.
most people have no trouble realising that a satnav is a "guide" - except idiots - including this man :) He was lucky to get away with it with only a small fine and 6 points.
What's the problem with BMW drivers?
Some of us enjoy driving cars with a bit of heritage and which don't look like they were designed by an ADHD-riddled five year old. Not all of us want 87,000 different seat combinations so the spoiled illiterate bastards in the back can watch Disney's latest offering while simultaneously carting half of Ikea around.
"Oh, you have the new Renault Toddler? I hear it's made from 100% recycled sustainable yoghurt cardigans. We were going to get one but decided on the Vauxhall i-Minge. It was the advert that sold us; you know the one with the undercranked shots of a family driving along the Cote d'Azur with shit-eating grins and dad accidentally shoots himself in the face with a revolver"
Sorry, BMW haters but real people drive real cars. Pretend post-modern hipster ponces base their buying decisions on adverts which feature sock puppets and surfers.
Now fuck off. I'm going for a drive in my Beemer. You can run around like an arse all day in your plastic toy making sure Elizabetha, Chim-Chim, Grapefuit and Donkeywagon have ample quantities of moustache wax, ritalin and recently discovered learning difficulties. You're not a shit parent; just a Guardian-reading reactionary common-or-garden wanker.
What, blame TomTom for this?
He's a prat, that's what he is... Blaming TomTom for taking him up a bridle-path. Jeez.
I've used TomTom since version 3.0, and never have I had an incident like this. When it looks dodgy, I'll rather continue on my original route and see whether the system recalculates. It tends to.
The only dodgy deal I ever got was following TomTom around a farm lane to 'short cut' around the town of Rhayader.
Twat in a BMW gets fined?
There is justice after all!
This doesn't surprise me
He's a BMW driver. I have it on good authority that the next versions of the 5 series will come without an indicator control, as they are never used in the current models
He deserves a medal. No, really.
After all, It was an English plodster making these allegations against him, but he was only following orders - he should be held up as an example to us all to do as we are told.
Anyway, it didn't turn out so badly - there's no doubt yet another set of digital dabs in the dodgy dna database dossier.
A Grand Day Out
Whilst on holiday in the Lake District, my Sat Nav decided to take me on a pleasant drive through the countryside. Pleasant enough, until the road slowly turned into a dirt track and - some time later - required the opening and closing of gates to continue.
Not to be foiled by such rustic peculiarities, I battled on and made it to civilisation some three or four gates and cattle grids later on.
Now, was I a twat for slavishly obeying the Sat Nav? Lucky that I made it out alive? Way too lazy for not having a real map?
As it happens it was a fun day out.
And a good job that there were no cliffs about.
So, have a heart on the poor sap in the BMW. It's not always as black & white as you might think.
Don’t you realise that SatNavs are sentient creatures. This one was obviously tired of life (it had been to London too many times). It had heard about lemmings and decided to leap off a cliff.
Mr Jones should take his SatNav for a restful holiday in Morocco where the navigating instructions are much simpler.
Moron gets 6 points
A story to show the system doesn't always get it wrong. Thanks El Reg!
I was just following orders
That defence didn't work at war crimes trials either.
"Oh, and while we are at it, the little stalk on the side of the steering wheel that appears to have no function is for your indicators."
Yes I know that, but mine is bust so I don't use it.
the light goes on
the light goes off
the light goes on
the light goes off
the light goes on
the light goes off
The mechanic told me it was an intermittent fault so he couldn't fix it.....
"If he had been exercising this level of care and attention on the public road, which he would've been on before going on to private land, then he WAS putting other people at risk. The point was that he was paying more attention to his satnav than to what was ahead of him, which he would've been doing before driving up the bridle path."
IMHO, it was a narrow Bridleway, so he must have been paying attention to the road because he didn't come off the sides of a narrow road. Hence the magistrates reasoning is faulty. If he hit a fence post, and the car could not be moved without the aid of quad bikes, then that tells me he couldn't have stopped and turned around on its own power.
Also the photo reminds me of that narrow path in Grand Designs where the guy lives at the end of a farm track. It was a minor mistake.
The hypothesis that if he was on a public road he would be putting someone at risk, to me this simply confirms the poor judgement, because you're substituting the thing you WISH to punish him for, the thing he actually did. As though the thing he actually did isn't that bad!
The rest of the comments, things like "serves him right" that's just schadenfreude - the shameful joy in seeing others suffer. Downtrodden societies like Germany, where their lives are oppressed are like that. They seek joy in others being more oppressed than they are, rather than joy in their own happy lives. i.e. a no substance argument, a secret 'glad it wasn't me' type argument.
Reminds me of the Milgram experiment
He could see what he was doing was wrong. But someone/thing was telling him to carry on doing it anyway.
Problem(/Prat/Pr!ck) Exists Between Steering wheel And Chair.
Seriously, how can you drive with your brain switched off just because the sat-nav says so? What a mug. Should've fined him the cost of his car.
Todmorden Sat-Nav accident
5000 miles a week is surely a misprint?
That's 1000 miles per working day. Even if you could drive for 12 hours solid, you'd have to keep up a steady 83mph.
Mind you, that could explain why he went over a cliff. He was too tired and going too fast.
It was a tragic combination of...
the fact that he was driving through or near Todmorden which is basically a town in a valley that forms a cess-pit of the freaks, wraiths and strays of society (I can only assume they have an urge to gather at the lowest point around). I imagine the collective aura of these weirdos probably emit some sort of noxious gas or other air-bourne emission which can temporarily effect outsiders, particularly those who are of the mental disposition to drive for long enough that there's only "seven miles of diesel remaining", those who "drive for a living" yet don't have a cheap (or otherwise) in-car mobile phone charger and those who are diabetic and have "no insulin" with them!
I'm also really fighting the urge to slurry what I think is a sound argument with the stereotype that he also owns a god-damn BMW....PRICK....oops!
People are seriously defending this guy...?
He's driven along a path that seems to be about two foot wide from the picture, and only stopped when he went through a fence and nearly off a cliff. That's not 'paying due care and attention', that's 'being a fucking idiot'.
"Driving without due care and attention" on private land?
OK -this chap wasn't very bright but the penalties seem a bit steep considering he didn't actually hit any other road users or damage any public property - maybe that's because he took the unwise decision to defend himself.
Given he got into trouble on private land, he was only guilty of trespass - surely "driving without due care and attention" would only apply if he was on a public road?
Of course, what he should have done was not to call the police (or the AA) but find the farmer, apologise and pay the farmer a wad of cash to pull him out and pay for any damage to the path and/or fence. Job done, no court, no fine, no points, no national press attention.
Try hard knot pass
@Mike Bell, if you holiday in the Lake District, there's a great road, called "Hard Knot Pass" that's a lot of fun. Not as difficult as muddy farm tracks in the fells, but winding enough and steep enough to be a good drive.
Only thing is, its slippy in places, if you come off a corner and get stuck, call a farmer rather than the emergency services, and save yourself 6 points.
What about at night?
We once had to rely on Tomtom to drive at night, and used the shortest route option to avoid going through the motorways. It took us through some really small roads.
My advice is this: Do NOT use the shortest route option!
Obviously he was distracted...
...by a passing cyclist's lycra-clad, non-road-tax-paying, bulging genitalia..
He got off easy!
If you don't notice that the road is turning too bad to drive, and still believe that you're on a public road, then you can't be trusted to accurately judge anything else in traffic, either.
Yes, he WAS speeding.
You should NEVER drive faster than that you can stop safely on the amount of road visible in front of you. And in the case of one lane roads, halve that distance.
The fact that he hit the fence is testament to the fact that he was driving too fast for the road.
When he realised that the road was getting too bad(but before going over and hitting the fence), why didn't he put it in reverse and back out of there?
Tip to BMW owners; see the gear selector? See that funny 'R' setting? No... it's not a poorly implemented 'Race' setting. It allows your car to move backwards!
Just turn your head or look in the mirrors, and it's possible to see the road behind the car!
Isn't modern technology fun?
Why didn't the farmer tow him out with a tractor?
Besides the fact that the car doesn't have a tow hook, and that if you're not very, very careful, you'll end up destroying the car completely?
Nice one Judge
I think the Judge got it spot on. He was a slave to the satnav and not paying attention to the road so he wasn't in full control of the car.
Fine wasn't so heavy to be silly. A good call I think. Hopefully other sat-nav slaves will take notice that the damn things don't mean that you can stop paying attention to the feckin road.
"...That's 1000 miles per working day. Even if you could drive for 12 hours solid, you'd have to keep up a steady 83mph."
Yup he's a BMW driver, going UNDER 83mph is difficult enough....however I'm suprised he went up this lane.
a) it had no right hand lane to sit in, even when all other lanes are empty
b) there was no one to tailgate.
No wonder he was confused...
Look at the photo
He drives a BMW and is wearing a track suit. I think that tells the entire story.
And.. @Will_22 - Sorry, but not everyone can afford a BMW. We have budget constraints which means we are stuck with our cheap pieces of shit until they fall apart.
An M3 driver salutes you sir!
@Sounds harsh, @Wrong
If he was indeed up a Public Bridleway, then he could also have been prosecuted under S34/34A of the Road Traffic Act. A Public Bridleway is a highway, but one which confers no right of way for mechanically propelled vehicles. Public rights of way may cross private land, but they are still public places: imagine the horror if a bunch of the Bobble Hat Brigade were marching the opposite way and were bumped by a car doing 3mph (rather than the usual "horse gets scared and kicks all their heads in").
If said "road" was a Byway Open To All Traffic, then he had as much right as any other user to be there - but leaving a Byway and almost running over a cliff is like running your car off any other road by driving without due care and attention.
Regardless, he still sounds like a bit of a tool.
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