Finding Your Way Around the Sat-Nav Stories

Why does the media appear to have it in for sat-nav systems?

When the portable systems first came out, they were responsible for fuelling car crime, which in turn increased drug use, which in turn increased drug smuggling, which in turn funding Al-Qaeda*. Now there seems to be an ever-increasing number of stories (including today’s Sat-nav takes cabbie into river) blaming sat-nav for drivers ending up stranded or in a tricky fix.


Sat-nav does not take cabbie into river. Cabbie takes cabbie into river.

What’s long and wet and 30ft wide? A river.

Exactly. Hardly the most inconspicuous of natural phenomena, a river is probably even marked on his sat-nav in the first place.

Same with the older “fuelling crime” arguments. People were leaving (at the time) £400-worth of pocketable electronics in full sight when their car was parked in a dark alleyway and wondering why some thieving toe-rag nicked it. Yet they wouldn’t dream of leaving five crisp twenty pound notes on the dash – what’s the difference?

My sat-nav system (built into the car) has a “nag screen” which appears every time you start the engine. Paraphrasing, it says “make sure you follow all road signs and use your own good judgement“. Maybe that’s where I’m going wrong – assuming that people possess such capabilities.

* And don’t they know that a ‘Q’ is always followed by a ‘U’? (and a Q is always following a caravan)?


  • This is drive-by-screen…where you treat the SatNav as a rally driver’s navigator on dark country roads. Sometimes I’m disappointed that on-coming vehicles aren’t displayed. It was possible in the 80s if you had a Knight Industries Two Thousand!

  • I decided to look this up and found out the exact text displayed on the nag screen:

    This system provides route information to help you reach your destination.

    Due to road conditions some recommendations may not be appropriate.

    Always obey all traffic laws and exercise your own good judgement.

    For safety, program the system while the car is stopped.

    See your Owner’s Manual for complete instructions.