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Sat Nav Blamed For Sending Driver Along Rail Tracks
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RobBrady
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 2:21 pm    Post subject: Sat Nav Blamed For Sending Driver Along Rail Tracks Reply with quote

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An 80 year old woman has been given "words of advice" by police after causing disruption to rail services in Canterbury, Kent.

The elderly lady reportedly followed her sat nav's instruction to turn right at a level crossing and ended up on the railway tracks. It is more likely that she misheard or misread the instruction.

She managed to drive 30 metres along the tracks and when she and her passenger realised the mistake, they got out and left the vehicle on the line.

Witnesses immediately called 999 and train services were halted while her car was removed.

A similar incident happened at the very same level crossing back in 2009 when a 74 year old taxi driver turned right and travelled along the tracks. He realised his mistake, tried to reverse, but got stuck which also resulted in train services being halted.

He wasn't so lucky as the lady responsible for the latest incident. He got more than advice - he was banned from driving for three years, fined and ordered to retake his test if he ever wanted to drive again.

This kind of basic driving error is becoming all too common and certainly not confined to those of a certain age. There have been many similar incidents reported over the last few years and it appears that those of all ages are prone to rely too much on sat navs and not their eyes.

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worried
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a Garmin that tells you to turn right well before you reach the junction, I always have to look at the screen to make sure

that level crossing had a smooth surface and no gates or barrier, one of those that British Rail are going to take action on
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 5:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems like the SatNav told her to turn right when it actually meant 'follow the road'. Here
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lenfish
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2013 10:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"it appears that those of all ages are prone to rely too much on sat navs and not their eyes".

True, the crossing is similar to many in the country, is well marked as such and appears to be floodlit.

Given the ages of the offenders, could it not be that they were using their eyes but their eyes were not seeing too well, especially in the dark?

And to cap it all the line is third rail electric at 750v dc. Gives a whole new meaning to electric cars.

And no, I'm not ageist, knocking on myself don't you know.

Len
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Privateer
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
Seems like the SatNav told her to turn right when it actually meant 'follow the road'. Here

I don't know the road, but using Google street view, I agree with M8TJT that the SatNav should have meant 'follow the road'.

I believe that drivers should be fit and competent to drive, that SatNavs are for information, and that the driver is solely responsible for their actions. However I also believe that had this been a manned crossing then the incident would most probably not have happened, as the few manned crossings that I have seen have (white) gates that closed off the road for the train and when not in use the gates close off the tracks when the road traffic is using the crossing.

I understand that most crossings are no longer manned as automated crossings are cheaper to run however the railway authorities (currently Network Rail) should ensure that at all of their crossings (manned and automated) it should be impossible to turn onto the tracks unless you have the necessary reason and permission to do so. This could be done by gates that swing across the road and railway lines, One Way Traffic Flaps that allow road vehicles to come away from the railway line but not drive onto a railway line (unless the flaps are locked down), etc..

To sum up, I think that it is six of one and half a dozen of the other, it is the driver's responsibility not to drive onto a railway line but it is also the responsibility of Network Rail to ensure that drivers do not do so (and therefore trespass) by mistake or intentionally.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2013 5:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:
To sum up, I think that it is six of one and half a dozen of the other, it is the driver's responsibility not to drive onto a railway line but it is also the responsibility of Network Rail to ensure that drivers do not do so (and therefore trespass) by mistake or intentionally.
And I suppose that you wear a hardhat and steel toe capped boots wherever you go, carrying a HaS manual.

Lets get real, the blame and HaS culture has gone quite mad recently. Name four other countries in the world that fence off the whole of their rail network. I suppose what we really need, as well as all the barriers across the line that you suggest, is no entry signs to warn stupid people not to drive or walk onto the tracks.
Here you go. Belgium. No fences, no barriers across the line and obviously lots of common sense to neither drive onto the track nor cross it with a train/tram coming. Click

It is TOTALLY the driver's responsibility not to drive onto a railway line and no one else's. It is unfair to blame NR for negligence which is what you and others elsewhere appear to be doing.

PS. I forgot the mandatory hi viz clothing.
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Snudge
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The 80 year old woman should have had her licence taken away and she should have had to take a driving test if she wanted it back just as the taxi driver did.
I once met an old lady driving the wrong way up a slip road onto a dual carriageway - I was able to stop in front of her or she may have had a 'head-on'
Age does have a lot to do with it.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Snudge wrote:
Age does have a lot to do with it.
Watch it, or you'll have us old fellas around. I can get a whole gang together. Very Happy
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Anita
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
Snudge wrote:
Age does have a lot to do with it.
Watch it, or you'll have us old fellas around. I can get a whole gang together. Very Happy

Can old biddies join your gang too? Me Me Me

If so you'd better pick me up on your way. I wouldn't want to give Snudge a scare seeing another old lady driving.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He He
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Snudge
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 11:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll make you all a nice cup of tea!
(I'm over 60 myself - happy to take my test again anytime Very Happy )
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DennisN
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2013 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

(As a 74-year old) I was recently driving along the A420 road near here, having come off the M4 due to a serious accident at Swindon. At one of the junctions I saw a sign saying "ROAD CLOSED AHEAD AT FORD". As I wasn't going down that side road I carried on. The next junction had the same sign and I carried on again - not going down the side road and no ford on this main road. Driving

So after a few miles I reached the village of FORD. Crying

Using my skill and judgement, I was able to make a detour through the village of Tiddleywink.

Goodnight, children.
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technik
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:
the railway authorities (currently Network Rail) should ensure that at all of their crossings (manned and automated) it should be impossible to turn onto the tracks unless you have the necessary reason and permission to do so. This could be done by gates that swing across the road and railway lines,


Drivers should be made to take an eyesight test every 2 years.

It's not NW Rail's fault there are incompetent drivers on the road.

Your same logic would also mean we should have barriers across one way streets and motorway exits to stop people going wrong way.
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Privateer
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like my words have caused a few to add their thoughts! Rolling Eyes

But some people may have not read:

Privateer wrote:
I believe that drivers should be fit and competent to drive, that SatNavs are for information, and that the driver is solely responsible for their actions

ok the following may have been a bit harsh on Network Rail:

Privateer wrote:
To sum up, I think that it is six of one and half a dozen of the other, it is the driver's responsibility not to drive onto a railway line but it is also the responsibility of Network Rail to ensure that drivers do not do so (and therefore trespass) by mistake or intentionally.

Every driver is solely responsible for their actions. However I do still feel that Network Rail should address things on problem crossings to ensure that they are as "uninviting" as possible to drivers so that drivers do not mistake the railway crossing as a legitimate junction/turning for vehicles.

I also think that SatNav companies should also ensure that mapping is accurate to that their units give a clear and accurate set of instructions that relate to the real world, i.e. "follow the road" and not "turn right".

Finally, let me stress again that every driver is solely responsible for their actions.
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Snudge
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:
However I do still feel that Network Rail should address things on problem crossings to ensure that they are as "uninviting" as possible to drivers so that drivers do not mistake the railway crossing as a legitimate junction/turning for vehicles.


If anyone finds this 'inviting' to turn onto the track - should they be driving?


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