UK village posts "Ignore sat-nav" signs

Darren Barefoot sez, "Apparently sat-nav systems are hazardous to the health of British (and visiting) drivers:"
Vale of Glamorgan Council in South Wales is the first in the UK to use visual signs warning drivers not to believe sat-nav advice after once peaceful villages were reduced to bedlam when heavy-goods lorries got stuck in tiny country lanes.

Now a sign aimed largely at foreign drivers has been put up on the outskirts of the village of St Hilary.

"The proliferation of satellite navigation aids used in heavy goods vehicles, and their over-reliance, especially by overseas drivers, has presented itself as a problem within the Vale of Glamorgan," a spokesman for the council's highways department said.

Link (Thanks, Darren!)


  1. I imagine a big fat toll on commercial traffic on that little country lane would solve that problem faster than the signs. Just issue local businesses a window sticker.

  2. I’m staring at that sign and, even knowing what it’s supposed to mean, I have no idea how to parse it so that it comes out as ‘if you’re a truck, then please ignore your sat-nav data’.

    Instead of these impenetrably cryptic icons (or the long winded text version in English and Welsh that was being used previously), why not just post a conventional ‘no trucks’ sign? (Get them here — — only 65 bucks and your problem is solved!)

    I mean, seriously people, how hard would that be?

  3. What *is* it with the UK’s absolute obsession with Health and Safety to the point where it is neither healthy nor safe?

  4. I can’t remember if this article was posted here, but there was a woman who’s GPS told her to turn onto some train tracks and she did. When she had gotten out of her car to ask for directions, a train plowed into her car.

    I also had a friend who’s gps told them to take a left into some woods. Lucky he was paying attention.

  5. There were also some Aussies who turned onto a goat trail at the behest of their GPS. Their sedan weathered it nicely though, after a few hair-raising close calls and sheer drop-offs with no rails in the middle of the night.

    (I love this new comment system.)

  6. Misleading headline. It’s nothing to do with being “hazardous to health”. It’s that satnavs send trucks down roads that are too small for them.

  7. @#3

    It’s not so much an obsession with health and safety, more to do with the fact that the sat-nav route takes them through a road the lorries cannot physically fit through…

    Although I do admit we are fast becoming a nation of cosseted ninnies.

  8. Wouldn’t you think that as a shipping owner, you would encourage your drivers to learn the fastest legal routes, and share them with each other? I would think that companies by now would give their drivers maps/guides to their destinations which emphasized speed and kept them on major, truck-friendly roads.

    I’m also surprised to learn that there’s no shipping-specific GPS system or add-on which would send truckers via the fastest highways and wouldn’t send them through residential areas, which could slow them down and possibly result in a costly citation. Seriously, there isn’t a commercial version of GPS out there?

  9. This thing looks like a lame publicity stunt:

    – The upper half of the sign is superfluous.

    – The sign for narrow road clearance (or whatever the problem) is lacking.

    – Non-standardised signs are clutter.

  10. It’s a problem. I often go to Cornwall to visit my boyfriend’s family, and I’m always scared with those very very narrow country lanes, many of them 2 way but 2 cars can’t pass at the same time. A truck will get stuck. At night you’ve to honk as well so you don’t plow into anyone. People who live there are used to it but not if you are from outside. So it’s not an obsession.
    That said, the sign doesn’t do anything.

    Anni from Spain

  11. Wow, this sign is unclear for sure… To me it looks more like a “Mobile mapping van forbidden” sign (due to privacy concerns for examples).


  12. Wel I suppose it is real. The Dutch city of Roermond recently did the same thing. In this case the reason was that some roads were closed or badly accesible due to roadworks. This is mentioned on signs but because of GPS instructions the signs were often ignored. And truck drivers would wind up in places were they couldn’t get out of. So they put up signs to not rely on GPS but read the signs. We even had newspaper items about people who were lost because there GPS malfunctioned. What do we think nowadays? Machines do our thinking so we don’t have to think anymore?

  13. What is the point? There are already signs for warnings about the route being unsuitable for tall, wide, long and heavy vehicles. (
    Wouldn’t it have been better to use existing signs rather than make a new one?

    People should have less faith in the magic talking GPS box and actually look at where they are driving.

  14. Yes this sign is just wrong in so many ways. It may not be obvious to readers from North America why:

    1) The red slash does not mean “no trucks” on European signs. A “no trucks” sign would be a red circle with a truck in it — no slash. A slash means the *end* of a restriction.

    2) A blue background is not an informational sign, nor a restriction sign, it’s a positive instructional sign. A one-way sign is a white arrow on blue background, for example.

    So if anything this sign means the opposite of what it intends “satnav use obligatory” and “end of truck restrictions”

  15. One thing USA residents may not realize is how tiny some of the roads in that part of the world can be. I’ve been on a “C” road in south Wales in a subcompact car. Even with liberal use of the pull-offs to let another car pass in the opposite direction, I still had bushes whipping against the sides of the vehicle from time to time.

  16. Thank god for this. My girlfriend and I almost got run over by a tractor in Dunstable because the taxi drivers sat-nav told him a road was where it wasn’t. We ended up on a little dirt path through a field with a tractor coming at us.

    Fun day.

  17. We need these signs posted on Merlin-Galice road and all along Galice Creek Road. Truckers have been being pushed along a two lane USDA Forest Service road through Agness because of this stupidity. The road is adverse terrain (grades in excess of 6%, road climbs to 4600 feet, corners that are unsave over 10 mph, heavy snow in winter that traps geeks that cannot live outside their overly simplistic trkk worldview). The last thing we need is a truck driver going of the edge of a forest service road and rolling 1500 ft or more into the ravines below.

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