SatNav needs intelligent use

SATELLITE navigation systems might be a wonderful thing - but like all technology they do require a certain amount of common sense to be used properly.

SATELLITE navigation systems might be a wonderful thing - but like all technology they do require a certain amount of common sense to be used properly.

And ultimately nothing can fully take the place of the human mind when decision making is required.

Ever since satnavs became common-place items on car dashboards, there have been stories of the little disembodied voice sending drivers through streets that were too narrow for them or into farm tracks that the gizmo insists are dual carriageways.

Now drivers heading for Stennetts Field in Trimley have been sent into the tiny Manor Road, causing chaos for the handful of residents there.

Loading these little devices with all the information that they might need is always going to be problematic - which means their owners should never regard them as a substitute for common sense when using the road.

If a satnav tells you you are on a playing field when it is obvious you are in a small residential street, then clearly something is wrong.

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The lesson for drivers is: if you have a satnav, don't expect it to driver your vehicle for you. You still need to use your common sense when you get behind the wheel.

AS the Labour Party conference gets under way today, the Prime Minister and Chancellor of the Exchequer are making all the right noises about cracking down on the City whizzkids - the “spivs” that have sent the world financial markets into chaos over the last few days.

But after 11 years in power, isn't Labour's realisation that the high-earning, high-living city traders might not be worth all they are paid a bit late coming?

When these city slickers were out spending money and building up credit lines like there was no tomorrow, where was the government action to crack down on this conspicuous consumption and wealth?

Where was the regulation to ensure it was those who contributed to society, like nurses and teachers, who deserved the rewards . . . not the city traders who earned a fast buck moving little dots around on a computer screen.

Today's realisation that there needs to be more control on their activities might be welcome - but it smacks of slamming the stable door long after the horse has bolted.

SOLDIERS and their families based at Rock barracks in Woodbridge must be giving a huge sigh of relief today as the first troops settle back home after their tour of duty in Afghanistan.

At the weekend 120 members of the Royal Engineers arrived home from Afghanistan, and over the next few days many more will be returning to their base after a six-month tour of duty.

The war against the Taliban is now one of the most brutal conflicts on the planet, but it is a war that must be won if the militants are not to be allowed to re-establish their Medieval regime and use it to export extreme Islamic terrorism around the world.

The troops that are returning today will now be able to enjoy quality time with their families and look forward to a peaceful Christmas.