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back to article Satnav leaves family stranded in Outback for three days

We bring you today's GPS navigation mishap hilarity news from Australia, where a family of four were trapped in their car for three days after ignoring road signs. The family were travelling across Australia from Brisbane to Perth followed the instructions of their GPS and entered the Darling River Road in New South Wales's …

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WTF?

Why bother risk others?

Just let them die out there. After all, it's nobody's stupid fault but their own.

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(Written by Reg staff)

Re: Why bother risk others?

Ladies and gentlemen, a round of polite applause for AC who has never made a stupid mistake in his life.

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That's extreme

I'd have gone and got them... but I've had had 'em pay for the costs of going to get them.

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Why should they pay?

Aussies are great people! Spend millions rescuing solo round-the-world child sailors, probably thousands fetching GPS units from the outback,... good on yas cobbers! Next time I go on holiday I ain't gonna worry about travel insurance - I'll just call the Aussies!

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FAIL

@AC

I believe it's known as common humanity. We used to have it back in the old days, you know. People helped other people when they got into difficulties - even the stupid ones.

Amazing, isn't it?

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Wrong part of the country

Now if they'd been travelling to Darwin then AC might have a point.

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Now I understand...

I always wondered why they were called the 'Darwin awards'.

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@ James O'Shea

"I'd have gone and got them... but I've had had 'em pay for the costs of going to get them."

They should recoup the costs of rescue from people's insurance.

These people do remind me of the ones who climb mountains in jeans and trainers.

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@ never made a stupid mistake in his life.

Well as long as AC's mistakes were not big enough to make the local papers. or for that matter national, or even international Media.

clap, clap. (is two a round?)

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Happy

pay the cost of your rescue

when you crash your car having driven too close to the vehicle in front and over the speed limit in bad weather... something we've all never done

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@James O'Shea

"...but I've had had 'em pay for the costs of going to get them."

Spot on, Mr O'Shea! The good news here is that there is provision in <whatever road act applies> to sock 'em for $1000 per wheel if they go through a Road Closed sign in the outback.

The main reason for this is that these emu-brained morons cut up the tracks when they're muddy, leaving huge ruts which then take heaps of scarce resources to put back into some semblance of a road after it dries out.

So, that's a ute plus trailer = 6 wheels = 6000 South Pacific Pesos please. (About 3300 of Her Maj's finest pounds). I hope the local authorities sock 'em for the lot.

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Unbearable

3 days of "I told you we should have taken that left"? It must have been a harrowing ordeal.

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especially since

especially since, if the poor chap had taken the left turn, it would have been "I meant the other 'left'"...

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Rob
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Coat

At lot worse than that...

... they were stuck in the car for 3 days with a dog, it must have broken wind a number of times in that period.

Coat please, I need to get out of the car for some fresh air.

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Anonymous Coward

obviously

they didnt pay that much attention to it. they would have seen the screen that says its a guide only etc

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Coat

having done that route in a PROPER 4x4

"It's not advisable to take this route w/o adequate food water and fuel" it says at the opening to the route. While we lived in Oz from 2006-2009 we did this route and pussies need not apply. Even in the dry it's not a route to be ill-prepared in terms of brains alone!

Bogan Pride again!

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Badgers

Never trust a GPS

I have one and to be honest I hate it, I always feel like I'm going to some mystery tour.

The best way to use them is to roughly know your route so you have some idea when the GPS is taking you on some odd route and then you can try and steer the thing back on course.

My GPS has two setting, shortest route or fastest route, the first setting translates as brooks and streams and the second setting translates to motorways larger than 17 lanes.

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Exactly

I use my satnav as an aid to navigation, not the solution.

I always have a look at a road map before setting off to somewhere unfamiliar. Figure out what junctions to take and what roads/town names to look out for.

The sat nav is basically a backup and for finding the correct street right at the end of the journey.

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Coat

Signs

Not to mention that when you don't blindly trust your GPS navigator you are more likely to pay attention to "Road Closed" signs.

My two pence; bill them for the rescue costs.

Mines the one with the map, compass and sextant in the pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Blame The Satnav

It's becoming a standard story isn't it. Some idiot gets themselves into trouble and thinks that blaming the satnav will make it all OK.

We've had idiots in rivers and public footpaths, tne moron who drove into a building site toilet and nary a day goes buy that some berk in an HGV doesn't get stuck up a little lane somewhere. I live on an A road that has a weight limit and every single driver who gets stopped (or occasionally stuck) blames their satnav. One idiot was asked by plod if he saw the weight limit and diversion signs, including the big electronically activated flashing thing, and replied that he though his satnav knew a different route. Blimey but satnavs are clever.

The thing is these idiots would ignore the signs whether or not they had satnav. I see plenty of people without satnav on their dash ignoring road closed signs, I saw one in York only yesterday. Too many people think that road signs don't apply to them.

The satnav is for some reasons seen of one of the great evils of the 21st century so people in general and the media in particular are happy to accept the satnav as the reason for everything. One traffic plod I know tells me people even blame their satnav for speeding, "Yes Officer, I saw the 40 limit sign but according to my satnav this rouad has a 60 limit." A ban is too good for these fuckwits.

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WTF?

The human race...

...don'cha just love it? My sat-nav believes that there is a fantastic road you can take when you're crossing one particular bit of North Yorkshire up around Arkengarthdale/Swaledale. Funnily enough, I never take the turning it suggests - the one that would involve going through a large five-bar metal gate, past the "Private. No Through Road" signs and onto a spectacularly pitted and rutted, rock-strewn dirt track that winds its way up into the hills and which would probably prove a mild challenge even for a decently equipped off-roader. (Mind you, the farmer probably drives up there in his knackered old Nissan Sunny or whatever to check on the sheep.)

Anyway, reading the funny sections of the papers, I sometimes get the feeling that I might be one of the few people left who _doesn't_ slavishly follow the dictates of their little electronic friend on/in the dashboard?

Still, I imagine that some of the more down-to-earth members of the Aussie emergency services who ended up rescuing these total pillocks had a few choice words to say on the matter. Hope so anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

They're everywhere.

There's a track just accross the road from my house that every sat nav I've ever tried thinks is a road. There is now a big sign there saying "No Through Road - Do No Follow Sat Nav" but people still do.

It starts off metalled, but that's just somebody's driveway so many drivers end up in a private gardem. Those who follow their satnav off the metalled road (and some do) find themselves going up an overgrown dirt track used only by walkers, mountain bikers and the (very) occasional tractor that is only passable by proper offroad vehicles. There is obviously a glitch in the digital mapping somewhere since satnavs only seem to direct people onto this track from one end. Trouble is I know people with new satnavs or the latest updates who are still being directed onto this track.

It still doesn't excuse people not being able to read a sign or failling to spot an impassible road when they see one. Would they drive into a wall if their satnav told them to?

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Australians seem to have issues with road signs

... it's the only country I've visited where I've seen a road sign telling you to pay attention to the road sign coming up in 100 meters. I thought that highly odd (but it was in Queensland which does seem to have a bit of a reputation) but maybe they know what the drivers are like ...

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FAIL

Satnavs are an aid to navigation...

they do not replace common sense, brain power or road signs that are telling you not to enter a road because its dangerous.

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Joke

They should

Have their Australian citizenship revoked and be reclassified as New Zealanders

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Wrong!

Send 'em back to Pomerania. They should go un-noticed in such a place.

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Grenade

Nobody?

Nobody else with some righteous outrage? Seems your comment managed to sneak by unobserved (or misunderstood) :D

Well done that man

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It wasn't the satnav that left them stranded

Had they been using a map and the same thing happened, would we blame the map?

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Lets be fair

The satnav was in no way at fault. These people would have made the same error had they been following a map, they were just stupid.

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FAIL

Shame, it was a family of four..

Darwin awards only apply to those who have not reproduced.

Making them wait 3 days sounds fair, even if the conditions were marginal.

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Anonymous Coward

RE: Shame, it was a family of four..

surely if they have reproduced but take their children with them then it still counts?

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Thumb Up

Oh Thats a Yes!

Good Call!

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@ AC 11:12

Sadly not, if you take anyone else down with you then you get disqualified from the Darwins as it's not fair that someone else should suffer due to your stupidity. This includes children and animals.

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Joke

"sleep in the car for three days with their dog"

But what about the smell?

I'm sure the dog got used to it.

Boom Boom

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FAIL

The price of stupidity

Well, that's what you get when you refuse to think!

Especially sleeping in a car with your family *AND THE BLOODY DOG* !?!?!?

They didn't even think of booting out the panting shit factory...

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Boffin

Stupidity as the mother of invention

It might be time for satnav manufacturers to agree a standard so that a simple (ie insanely cheap) transponder could be installed in road signs that triggers a "Was there something you didn't understand?" message when passed.

I have to say, though, that such spectacular cases of missing massive "ROAD CLOSED" signs should carry driving bans with them. The annual idiot stuck on the Lindisfarne causeway is a case in point.

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Bronze badge
Stop

Stupid Signs Too

Of course, road signs are always such good advice, and the people who put them up are so wise.

Direction signs are particularly bad. They dont give the sensible route, but the route that the local council want you to follow. One small town near me has a bypass of about 3 mile radius (because the council has big ideas about future expansion). It has a roundabout about every 200 yards, most of them for nothing. I drive through in the evening and it takes about twice as long, is 50% further, and 10 times more frustrating to use the bypasss than go straight though (where roadside pubs and garages etc welcome trade). Yet every signpost tries to send you out to the bypass with "No Through Traffic" signage for the straight route, even after you have already passed the centre!

Let me give some translations from my neck of the woods :-

"Road unsuitable for motor vehicles" ---> There is a bit of unmade surface

"No through traffic" --------------------------> Local councillor lives along here

"Road closed for flooding" -------------------> There was a 2" deep puddle several hours ago

"Road closed for safety reasons" ---------> Yesterday there was a fire in a pig sty 400yds away

And so on.

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Anonymous Coward

My favourite...

In Penzance, Cornwall (UK).

A sign at the furthest end of a tiny lane which becomes nothing more than a footpath:

"This Road is Unsuitable for Heavy Goods Vehicles"

Which would have got there, exactly, how?

Then there is the welsh council who emailed their translation department, committing the Welsh answer to a road sign: "This department is closed until the end of this month".

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Go

Annual?

Annual numpty on the Lindisfarne causeway? Surely you mean monthly?

Go. 'Cos the idiot's do. Even when the tide tables tell them otherwise.

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Anonymous Coward

also....

speed limit signs, and especially stop-ahead signs...

Of course, then the kid in me is going to pull the box off of the 25mph sign and stick it on the back of a 70mph sign.....

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FAIL

is waiting for..

... "family who sues the satnav company"

guess common sense for this family is pretty much non-existent!

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FAIL

too lazy to check your route

Back in the day driving somewhere meant planning it on a map, now we just jump in and expect the sat nav to do it all for us, then blame it when it takes us a stupid way or announces you have arrived while in completely the wrong place.

I use google maps, see the options, know myself from looking at the map if it is stupid and create my own route. I then use streetview to see the last hundred yards to my destination.

When I get in the car I then try to persuade the sat nav to follow the route I want with vias - if I get bored of that I'll just ignore it and let it catch up with me.

Funnily enough I drive door to door without any frustration, no wrong turns, no long detours down dirt tracks and no confusing looks when I arrive in some massive housing estate when I'm looking for a factory. I might be some backwards luddite but I seem to be doing pretty well with it.

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Next time

they should let the dogs to the driving & navigation

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Unhappy

"My GPS has two setting, shortest route or fastest route"

... both of which probably do usually give routes that are at least partially sensible.

Now, consider this. Saturday afternoon I needed to go somewhere a mile away as the crow flies and being a nice afternoon I wanted to walk rather than drive.

By road, it's two sides of a equilateral triangle, so the road journey is more like two miles. But there's a big park and several alleys, none of which I know too well, so I thought I'd try to find something that would give me a definitive walking route.

Tomtom and Google maps gave me exactly the same route for walking and driving, which wasn't much help. So I downloaded Nokia's OVI mapping.

Fat lot of good that was. Yes, it DID give me a different and much shorter walking route. But all it did was to draw a completely straight line, which would have taken me through a large number of private gardens, brick walls, fences and a swimming pool.

In the end, I took the car.

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FAIL

Unable to get directions

There is a skill which is dying out with the rise of GPS units called "map reading". When using this one gets a large sheet of paper (or the Ordnance Survey "Get-a-map"/Open Street Map) which shows both roads and footpaths in an area. You then look for route options before walking along the choosen route, keeping track of where you are.

Alternatively the GPS in your car can do all the thinking for you.

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Food situation

I doubt they'd have been prepared for staying out that long. So guys, how did that dog-food taste?

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The title

Surely: "So guys, how did that dog taste?"

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Anonymous Coward

Sat nav

Sat nav: turn left

Woman: Honey, the sat nav has already told you to turn left 3 times

Man: Shut up bitch I know what I'm doing

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WTF?

Scenes of married life.

Why do you share this snippet with us, actually?

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