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 …
I agree that this guy's a complete idiot, but surely TomTom should take some flak for this?
Their device has provided inaccurate information which put lives at risk. It is implied that the directions given are suitable for a normal car. Where were the directions intending to take him? Off the cliff? Down a footpath?
If the OS produced a map that showed this brideway as suitable for normal cars they'd get into steamy heaps of trouble.
@Will 22 - made my day
The Vauxhall i-Minge - priceless. I almost wish I hadn't had the snip, so I could have another kid and call it Donkeywagon.
Rarely does a Reg comment rise above mediocre, but that was genius.
Cheers, I'm off to invent another learning disorder now.
Problem Resides In Car, 'K ?
No different to a passenger reading a map
I have been using SatNav for years - long before they became popular - and have never had a problem. I have always told people that you should treat the SatNav exactly like a passenger beside you reading map directions. Listen to what they say, and then apply that to what you see ahead of you. If what the passenger/SatNav doesn't make immediate sense to you, ignore it and follow your instincts.
This sometimes mean you *do* drive past the turning you should have taken, and have to go around the block (or to the next motorway junction). But that is far preferable to following the passenger/SatNav instructions slavishly and driving down a one-way street the wrong way, leaving a motorway to "shortcut" through a tiny village or driving down a railway track or off the edge of a cliff.
It's not the fault of the SatNav - it is the moron using it.
@People are seriously defending this guy...?
"He's driven along a path that seems to be about two foot wide from the picture"
And what was the road like at the entrance where the mistake was made? Certainly no cliff, no slippy rocks or tight bend. If you took a wrong turn down a narrow path and it got narrower, would you continue in the hope it would get better, or try to reverse the whole way back out?
"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'."
Looking at the road with the drop either side, do you believe, as the magistrate did, that he was looking at the Satnav and not at the road? I find that to be just poor judgement by the magistrate, he didn't need to look at the satnav at that point because there was no turnoffs, the magistrates statement is nonsensical.
I reckon he was unfortunate, the magistrate hasn't driven down many narrow mountain roads, he was in a BMW which always invokes sterotypical images, it was a fuss to get him out, so the rozzers needed to justify the time, the map maker who drew the road in from the aerial photo made a mistake, a lot of mistakes by a lot of people, only one of which was his.
Let me flip it over, instead of me saying why he SHOULDN'T be punished. Why do you think that he SHOULD be punished? For what gain?
IMHO, the fix for this, is better signage at the turnoff and the satnav map to be fixed. He, him, the driver, could be anyone, me, you, the magistrate, and it's nice to kid ourselves that we wouldn't make that mistake, but that's to flatter ourselves. The guy is a professional driver who delivers cars, if he can make that mistake we certainly can.
If the map maker can make the mistake from the aerial photo then a driver (who can't see the road ahead like the map maker can), can certainly make that mistake.
I've driven down the same road/track. It is a real track as if you are heading away from Windemere its signposted for Black Moss. Its a very pretty road too.
Its actually got 2 wheel sized tracks that are tarmacced/concrete but takes you through gates etc. You get sat-nav'd if you are driving towards Windemere on the A591 and turn down the B5284. It then directs you to Ings to get back on the A591 even though it's actually quicker to stay on the A591.
Its just that the sat nav (garmin) treats this road/track as National Speed limit as none is applied so since its shorter than staying on the A591. you end up getting directed down it.
If you do it once, you never do it again - or do what I did and set the Sat Nav to only do HGV capable roads.
A prime case of "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt."
extraction operatives... wtf are they
use to call them dental nurses... but seems they prefer to pull a BMW..
Hard done by ?
Okay, so it's a dodgy road, but it doesn't look like he was doing a ton up it, and if you look at the Sun's picture of the rescue it's over a small hillock then into a decline, then over the edge. Probably never saw it coming to the last, "oh, shit!" moment.
If he truly wasn't paying attention then he wouldn't have stopped. That trivial fence would unlikely have held his car back. The problem with recovering the vehicle is that it's on a downward slope. As a driver in that situation, with a cliff up-front, I'd not risk trying to back-up and have the car slip and go over. If he had extricated it ,it would probably be marked-up as "oops; nearly shat myself, I need a beer", and we and the plod would be none the wiser. As it is, it took professionals nine hours to extract the vehicle. Contrary to "Italian Job" and "Dangling over the edge" there seems no evidence that it was ( see Sun's photo ).
I've been caught out like this ( not by following SatNavs, and not by driving over cliffs ); on the Pennines, Wales and other places in the country where narrow tracks - ''call this a road!" - are not uncommon. Worse case was near central Manchester though where missing "no entry" signs led me to nearly drive onto a motorway the wrong way up an off-ramp.
Also in Manchester I encountered a crossroads with "no entry " signs on each corner, so impossible to tell which of the roads they applied to.
Got caught out in Chelsea also; a newly resurfaced one-way road with no road markings had me continue onwards across the junction on the right, which happened ( I think ) to be the wrong side of a two-way road. I only twigged something was perhaps wrong when I turned right at the next junction and thought "why were there only traffic lights for the left lane" ?
Took me over half an hour to get un-lost on a ring road around Leatherhead; signs I was hoping / expecting to see ( "London" ) were only on the clockwise route, not the anti-clockwise section I was driving on.
More, "there, but for the Grace of God, go I", rather than dickhead in my opinion. Of course, those El Reg commentators crying "wanker" would never find themselves in such an unfortunate predicament, nor have skeletons of sheer embarrassment of stupidity in their closets, oh no.
I also got completely lost in Paris once.
I would drive 5,000 miles
5,000 miles in a week - 240,000PA? That's got to be an entry in the Guiness Book of World records, after all - that's the distance from the Earth to the Moon [in a year], that's 45,257,143 London buses or 4,224,000 football pitches.
HI car would need servicing monthly (I've not factored that in to my average speed calculation) and he'd need a new engine probably once or twice a year
If true, he must end his day with a spectacularly numb bum.
As the driver or a relativly new BMW you could assume he's some sort of sales wonk so probably works 5 days a week. There are 120 hours in that 5 day week.
If he sleeps for 6 hours a day and spends an hour a day on eating etc that reduces his available time to 85 hours.
If he manages just one appointment per day then his driving hours are reduced to 80 per week.
To cover 5000 milesin 80 hours, he would have to average 62.5mph. Not possible.
Either - he's "bigging himself up" [AKA telling porkies], the Sun is bigging him up or there's a typo and he drives a fare more realistic 500/wk or 24,000 miles PA approx
He was on a public highway. He hit somthing because he was not looking. Lack of due car and attention. Simple.
Regardless of the fact that this particular Beemer driver was self-evidently a twat of the first water, your comment borders on genius - well done! And this from someone who's going to T-Bone the next X-series he sees not indicating at a roundabout...
@Will22 - FoTW
I nominate you for FoTW. You owe me a new keyboard pall.
Beemer drivers unfortunately earned their reputation when the company came down-market enough that every sales rep in the country could afford one. The 3-series, far from being a prestige marque, is one of the most mass produced cars in history - I think from memory it's only the Vauxhall/Opel Corsa that has been made in larger quantities. Twenty years ago, all of the road-warrior morons were driving Ford Sierras, I would strongly contend that the 'new BMW' award for most twatty drivers on the road is firmly owned by Audi, now that their cars have become more popular with fleet owners.
plus ca change.
Now what's the best way of getting coffee out of a laptop keyboard...?
"users should be made more aware they should only use them as a guide"
and there really ought to be a minimum IQ level below which you are not allowed a driving license, for your own good
if you need to be told not to follow TomTom regardless then you really shouldn't be allowed Outside without medical supervision
El Reg a bit economical with the facts
Apparently none or few of the commentors have clicked on the link to see the photo...
In that story it becomes clear that the man in question is (a) a delivery driver -- so not a rich twat in a BMW, there go the self-satisfied comments, and (b) an ex-soldier -- so too used to taking orders... someone should have explained him the chain of command, where he's above the satnav.
Nice one Will!
Fervent car-hating or car-luving is as bad as fervent nationalism or religious fanaticism. Just plain dumb. It doesn't help anyone.
The 5 series is a nice well designed car apart from a design flaw with the indicators.
Just because "some" BMW drivers are idiots doesn't mean that all BMW's should be hated with a passion.
The guy was an idiot ending up where he did, but the SatNav company should also take a lot of the blame here. They really need to be able to differentiate between the road size and the vehicle size - a large lorry option would be good for example.
Watch the video and you'll understand
For those Doubting Thomases here who can't understand why the driver is a epic tool, watch the video of the incident and see the angles, grades and path surface involved. The local farmer is absolutely spot on for saying it was amazing that he got that far. And then he ties up public (and private) services for 9 hours because of his epic ineptitude.
The fine etc: Quite right too, it's what happens if you go sailing without all the necessary equipment in a boat not suited for the journey and you get into trouble. The RNLI send you the bill.
Theis driver clearly should not be allowed to drive or handle machinery.
And for others here - he was NOT a salesman, he was delivering the car - read the fucking article!
@Will 22 - Brilliant stuff mate, but you might want to cut down on the expressos.
"My tom-tom took me up the bridle path"
You can write but not read then? Read the article to see why all your points (except maybe a 500/5000 typo) are wrong..
Vroom vroooooooohhhhh crap...
"The guy is a professional driver who delivers cars"
He's certainly someone who drives for business, but since anyone with a normal car licence could do his job then he's hardly a professional.
@Marvin the Martian
I did read the article, and whilst it did mention that he worked as a delivery driver, it also used the phrase "his car"/"his BMW" several times. This, coupled with him not being on a delivery run at the time leads me to suspect it was actually his personal vehicle and not one he was in the process of delivering anywhere. Indeed, if it was a delivery vehicle and I was the owner of said vehicle, I'd now be pretty livid to learn that the person charged with its safe delivery to me was using it as his personal runabout...
What a numpty, "Killed by TomTom", moron.
What's with all the BMW hate?
Do I smell sweet, sweet jealousy?
why the hatred for BMW drivers
You are all misdirecting your hatred at BMW drivers. Everyone knows the drivers who dont understand indicators, havent heard of the left hand lane on motorways and like to drive so close they can read your speedo have all shifted their loyalty to Audi's now.
As for this guy I cant decide if he has been harshly treated but one thing is for sure he is obviously still waiting for his Audi to be delivered.
For your pleasure...
The real supidity
From a linked article:
Jones, a diabetic, told the court he had only seven miles of diesel remaining, and no insulin, or mobile phone battery remaining.
Now that's a late-model Beemer. To get it down to 7 miles you're running on fumes (or the diesel equivalent). You'll have been warned and warned again, and are unlikely to have not passed a petrol station.
Not having spare insulin in the car when you're a diabetic who drives a lot should be a criminal offence.
And not having any mobile battery when he's in a car is just idiotic. He can afford a Beemer- he should be able to afford the extra £20 for a decent cigar-lighter charging cable!
6 points and a big fine
What the hell for - he has done none harm, and has paid for all damages.
He gave us all something to argue about, but has hurt no one.
Looking at the youtube video, yes it seems incredible, but it looks like once he got so far he could clear not get a rear wheel drive car back up, his only hope of getting out was by carrying on, (he was probably scared of having to admit he had got stuck and it just got worse and worse).
He may have been stupid - but the punishment does not fit the ......, hold on, what crime ?
I understand the knee jerk - haha it's a Beemer - therefore he should die argument - but it's time for a reality check.
He got to look a right numpty and had to pay all expenses - why does he have to be fined and hit with 6 penalty points ?
If you make a mistake and turn the wrong way what is the appropriate corrective action ?
3. DNA sample and cavity search
It's a slippery slope alright, conviction without offence..............
Although I earlier called him a twat, it does remind me of the time I stayed in a cottage near Scarborough and the only way to get to it was down a disused railway track barely wide enough for a car. But that was the only way there. No Sat-Nav back then either.
I've got an E36 3-series. If memory serves that's the one that out-sold the Ford Focus.
Fair enough it's got no prestige at all, but it does have a nice smooth 2-litre, 6-cylinder engine. It's just topped 160,000 miles and while some bits are wearing out (wheel bearings, suspension bushings, etc) it's still going strong. And after over 100Mn rotations those wheel bearings are doing damn well!
My Ford, however, isn't. At half that milage (still pretty high for a car) it got a 2-page failure list on its MoT. Oddly enough, it's the Ford that the indicators stopped working on rather than the beemer. Much nicer (leather) interior on the Ford though!
So from this I can conclude that the BMW is a much better made car- and my next car will again be a BMW.
This just goes to show...
... that some people are too stupid to be allowed on the road!
The Driving Test should include an IQ test along with reminders that a Sat Nav is an *aid* to driving, not a substitute for using your brains and your eyes.
@ One word....
Satnavtard is another word.
And according to Google, I'm the first person in the history of the human race ever to use it. Now to try and get it in the Urban Dictionary.
Of course it is only an aid but...
What if he had done it without the sat nav? Would it still be a criminal offence? People have been stuck on beaches, in holes, on hills since driving began. (and before that on foot) It is criminal to be dumb now?
If you click on birds eye view and follow the track back, he first turned into a narrow lane with walls both sides. He came to a very sharp right angled bend which must have taken some getting round. I bet once past that bend he would not have been able to reverse back anyway. Going on may have been the only option. Not bright, but I personally wouldn't call it a criminal offence. I suspect it was a mistake after which it was impossible to do anything other than try and go on or admit defeat and call for help. (difficult with no working phone) Most people while there is still hope of continuing will do so.
The pity is if you look, he was only about 75 yards from joining the road again, and no one would have been any the wiser.
WTF is a " victim surcharge"
He might be stupid - but the law is really crazy.
if you'd seen the earlier reports of what this idiot did you will have seen that he drove past a road sign that clearly states "not suitable for motor vehicles" and that's why he got done. He ignored a road sign end ended up hanging his heap off a cliff.
He deserves everything he got.
check out this google maps referance I did the road starts out as a tarmac surface then a dirt farm track then a very narrow path a long distance from whare he finnaly stoped so plenty of chances to turn round mised. I also doubt that he does 5000 miles a week.I have done 500 miles in one day before took about 10 hours and I was knackered afterwards (Huddersfield to Gloucester and back via Oxford) Donn't ask it was summer and I was bored.
get off the road
They should have fined him, then taken away his license for being a complete idiot. What a plonker!
@AC with 'old' BMW...
So your BMW has done 160.000 miles...
I guess it has a few miles up on my Citroën Berlingo as it has only done 216.000Km, yet.
Sure, I had to replace the engine recently, but that was my own fault for not taking proper care of it. It SHOULD last for at least 400.000Km, without any problems.
(I got a nice 1997 vintage that had only done 140.000 to replace it.)
Not only does it 100Km on 6.5L WITH a roof-rack mounted, but it's comfy, I have good visibility, and lots of luggage space.
In fact, the only 'problem' is that it's the same red colour as the Norwegian Mail's fleet of Peugeot Partners...
You can keep your BMW... I prefer a driver's car.
We've all seen where he ended up
I'd like to see the turn *into* that road - which he took after dark in an area which probably doesn't have streetlights. Once he'd turned in, he was committed and probably spent a mile going "Surely this isn't right? It's a bloody farm track. Damn councils just don't maintain these minor roads." until the horrible truth dawned.
Incidentally, did he "hit a fence" as in "crashed into a fence" (not an indication of good driving) or as in "go straight on until you hit Sheffield" (which is conceptually quite a nice idea, and doesn't imply careless driving)
the icon says it..
need we say more
We nearly had one less moron to worry about.
It just goes to prove Darwinian Natural Selection still applies even today.
50/50 here I think
Surely the town council would have put up a sign at the entrance to this rollercoaster saying "NO ENTRY FOR VEHICLES"
Although on the face of it he looks like a dumbass, I think the Satnav is a bit of a red herring. It only told him to take the turn, remember it was dark and late at night, so maybe he had no way of knowing that the lane became a track until it was too late and figured it was better to keep going (he is ex-army after all, they can follow orders).
That being said, his comments that "users should be made more aware they should only use them as a guide" do seem to indicate a slight lack of independent thought and/or higher brain function!
I found it!
TBH I can see the confusion- "Watty Lane" is apparently marked as a road. Appropriately near to "Bac[k]up Road" too...
5000 miles a week?
OK, someone needs to tell him that driving the missus down to Tesco's doesn't involve going through the Channel Tunnel and a round trip via Hamburg, despite what his TomTom says.
i used to roll about in my old land barge, a E34 525 diesel. Chronicly slow, but i rolled it up to the MOT station with 240,000 miles (you read that right) on the clock and it rolled right back out again with a MOT. Bar an oil change, i never serviced it once, it just kept on going and going and going.
Old BMW's are brilliant cars, its just the middle management/IT Manager esque pricks that drive the new ones giving them a bad name!
Too narrow for a horse?
But wide enough for a BMW?
Yob said: "so precarious that he would not, as a general rule, take his own horses down because it was so narrow".
Seems like the driver got a bridle path haircut by the locals, who are now undoubtedly celebrating in the local pub.
Just wanna know...
... why was there a fence at the edge of the cliff?
"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"
No actually, I decided to go for the Land Rover Defender 130 with the optional bull bars. I was sold on the quality of construction, plenty of space, that certain presence they have on the road, plus the certain knowledge that if I do actually collide with the next BMW that cuts me up without signalling because the arsewipe driving it was yakking on the phone, his toy car will be crushed like an egg.
In some countries I've driven in...
...that would be a A road.