The Driver's Site for the East Midlands

Welcome to Drivers' Union East Midlands.
Our Mission: Better road safety at lower cost. No unnecessary delay or slowing of road transport. No unnecessary or unjust prosecution of safe drivers.

Motorists & Drivers' Union is at

For specific topics click the appropriate label (above).

Search This Blog

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Satnav MOTs on their way!

The latest scam to screw the driver is to invent an excuse to tax and legislate satellite navigation systems.

The government is currently looking at a control that insists that Sat Nav manufacturers must update the computer memories to take into account local authority road changes and layouts.

Why? A clue can be gathered from Radio 5 Live's approach to me that 'all these drivers that are experiencing problems from sat navs'  
What problems? What drivers? I have had mine for about ten years and it's never caused me a problem! Has yours?

Let me say, as a top ex police driver, I can testify that sat navs make drivers far better for the simple reason that there is nothing worse than being lost in a city, not knowing what lane to take or where the next turn may be, to unnerve even the best of drivers. It is self evident that when you know where you are and where you are going you are far better than when you don't. And no. Road maps do not help in the centre of town, one way systems and they do not get you to the very door and premises that you are looking for like Sat Nav does. Abroad, when on the wrong side of the road already, the last thing a driver needs is to be concentrating on foreign road signs. How can you beat your very own English speaking guide to not only tell you where to go next but to warn you in good time about it too?

They are simple to operate and anyone who cannot, or allows them to lead them astray, are too simple to be let loose on the road anyway. Even then, that the stories of these fool's escapades make the news is really an indication of how rare these events really are. What we don't hear, because no stats are kept of it, is how many thousands of accidents are actually saved by Sat Nav every year. So what is this really all about then?

Follow the money folks. Garmin, say, will then have to update all their Sat Navs, before sale, at what cost? How much is local Government going to cream off for this information? And who will pay for the end product?............................Yep the poor old  hard pressed over taxed UK driver again. But it won't end there will it? Since they will go out of date almost immediately then the next logical progression will be a SatNav MOT certificate yearly otherwise what will be the point?

Watch this space! You heard it here first.  This is why 2012 must be the stop the war on the driver year. And you can start by signing this simple petition. Stop the war on the driver.

Two MPs have now taken this up with ministers.


  1. Disagree with your comment, that anyone who allows a Sat Nav to lead them astray, should not be let loose on the roads anyway. I have used one and it got me lost twice. which is not a lot, but by the time it redirects you, it is to late, if you are in a place where it is illegal to stop. by which time you are a fair distance from where you could have simply taken the next turning instead of being redirected a hell of a long way through a strange city. While agree they are excellent, they are NOT infalable!!!. They are only 90% accurate and common sense also needs to be used.

  2. A bit of artistic journalistic licence and tongue in cheek by me Anthony and by 'astray' I was meaning into ponds etc not purely getting lost. At least even when getting lost, you were very confident as to where you were going otherwise you wouldn't have got lost if you follow my meaning. Of course they need 'common sense' but let's face it a very high proportion of drivers don't have logic for one reason or another. Of course thousands can cite times when Sat Nav was wrong. We can all do that. But what never gets understood is the 1000s of accidents they prevent.

    But the main story, the next unnecessary expensive and profiteering scam, you have not commented on. That would be valued AK.

  3. We have had a very nice reply from Norman Baker MP, a DfT Minister telling us that the councils and the Sat Nav manufacturers welcome a sat nav summit to ensure that sat navs are kept up to date before sale. We have pointed out that this will cost a lot of money where both groups will charge for the service and again the driver picks up the tab. We had asked what happens after the sat nav has been sold? Will there now be a sat nav MOT? If not then what is the point? He didn't answer that point so we have asked again.

    Watch this space!