Family Stuck for 4 days on closed road in Western NSW

Submitted: Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 08:16
ThreadID: 80460 Views:5119 Replies:8 FollowUps:10
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Hi everyone,

Just caught this story on the radio about a family that where stuck on a closed road in Western NSW after thier GPS told them to keep travelling down a closed road.
Not smart !!

Cheers Matt
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 08:41

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 08:41
Must remember that excuse! - but seriously its hard to understand that some people don't understand that these things are not realtime , let alone there inbuilt deficenties.

Recently on approach to Gunbarrel lagger for Exploroz - we set ours to go to Gunbarrel , 3km out from there it wanted to take us on a 150km loop via a back way in.

It won't be to long before new models have realtime capability - can you imagine the issues over directions and liability then !
Robin Miller

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AnswerID: 425945

Reply By: Chris & Sue (Briz Vegas) - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 08:55

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 08:55
G'day Matt,

From the ABC story:-

""The first lesson is not to always believe your Navman and to have a look at a decent road map before you leave travelling to somewhere you've never been," he said."

Umm, if the driver of the vehicle deliberately goes through a Road Closed sign, what makes the Boys in Blue think that they'll take any more notice of a paper map?

Second part of story:-
"And the second one is to never travel on the dirt roads in the west of NSW or western Queensland, particularly after heavy rainfall and when there's clear signs saying the roads are closed."

Now that one makes far more sense! :-))

When will Joe Average learn that a GPS is an aid, not a Divine Communication device?

I own (I think, counting stand-alone units and ones in phones,etc) about 5 or 6 and none of them are omnipotent or.

AnswerID: 425946

Follow Up By: peterll - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 09:20

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 09:20
The other part of that story was about those who think it is ok to drive on closed dirt roads. Then get in trouble and expect to be rescued when they strike trouble.

Roads are usually closed for a reason and just because one has a limited holiday time doesnt mean that you can flaut the rules. Even if locals do at times. For them it can be a matter of survival

FollowupID: 696503

Follow Up By: Roach"ee" - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 20:07

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 20:07
I think you'll find that the locals will be more likely to obey the ROAD CLOSED signs than the city "terrorists". The locals know the damage that they will cause by driving on wet dirt roads and they will simply stay put on their property (or in town if that is where they are stuck), until the roads are re-opened.

Not sure about western NSW etc, but I recall that in northern SA and NT, the penalty for driving on a closed road is $1,000- per if you're caught and are driving a vehicle and trailer; you can kiss $6,000- goodbye. Having said that, I have never actually heard of anybody being fined that sort of money, or being fined anything for that matter.
FollowupID: 696561

Reply By: Member - Duncs - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 10:09

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 10:09
Don't blame the GPS when the sign says the road is closed.

AnswerID: 425952

Follow Up By: Member - Rod N (QLD) - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 10:14

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 10:14
Apparently the fine in SA is $1,250 for driving on closed graded roads.
FollowupID: 696508

Reply By: Hairy (NT) - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 11:27

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 11:27
Just playing the devils advocate here...........
Just because the media said they ignored the signs doesn't mean they actually saw them?
They could have already been on the road when the signs were put up or come onto the road a different way.'And what's wrong with following a GPS? It didnt necessarily take them down the wrong road.....just a boggy one.

They might have been complete idiots too, but judging by the ABC's story it sounds like a load of hype..........

Im mean ""[The crew] braved extremely difficult and treacherous road conditions and travelled out there," he said.

Having someone elses car to go play in the mud with sounds like fun to me!!!!!

"They actually slid off the road quite a few times and almost got bogged themselves."

And I bet they were having a ball too....

You know the old story...."Never let the truth get in the way of a good story!"

AnswerID: 425960

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, Aug 04, 2010 at 10:29

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2010 at 10:29

I like a good play in the mud like most people who frequent this forum but their is a difference between playing and working.

I was recently responsible for an emergency vehicle which became stuck on a rural road. Apart from the stuck vehicle I had a lot of other things to think about; the welfare of the crew who were also stuck, the risk of damage to the vehicle in the recovery operations, but also the risk to the community because this specialist resource was not available to perform it's core function. All these things take from the "fun" that I might otherwise be having while playing in the mud. Then there is the simple point that these officers have families. They could have been missing out on a family get together for a birthday or aniversary. Not to mention the concern that their non-arrival home at the usual time may cause that family.

I accept your argumenbt that they could be having fun, I have managed to enjoy a day out like that in the company car but it could just as easily be that it was the last thing they wanted to be doing.

FollowupID: 696713

Reply By: Cruiser 2091 - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 12:59

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 12:59
So whats so unusual about getting stuck on dirt country roads. With proper precautions one would have plenty of water, a bit of tucker, a nice fire and wait it out. And of course having their GPS they weren't lost, they knew exactly where they were. So most probably a good adventure to talk about later.
AnswerID: 425964

Reply By: whisky_mac - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 14:15

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 14:15
I was up that way recently, travelling from Bourke down stream the roads were open but looking in my mirrors they were closed going upstream. Talking to the guy at Louth in Shindy's Inn, he said it was the difference between Bourke shire councils definition of a road suitable or not and Wilcannia's. When we came out of White Cliffs back to the Darling the guy at the BP station checked his sheet before telling us both roads, east and west were open to Menindee. When we got to the east road 10 minutes later it had a closed sign on it and so we travelled on the west side. I think there is some confusion as the guy had an official bit of paper he checked. Probably put out by the Bourke shire.
AnswerID: 425972

Reply By: Wilko - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 19:53

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 19:53
Hi All,

I'm glad they are ok, but if they drove around a road closed sign, they shouldn't be fined they should be made to pay for the repair of the road.

IMHO I dont have a gps and I dont want one, Its not as accurate to being able to read a map properly.

Cheers Wilko
AnswerID: 426008

Follow Up By: Joe Grace Doomadgee - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 20:05

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 20:05
mmmm the fine would without a doubt be the cheaper option, if i reported everyone that we found on a "closed road" i would make someone (shire or council) very rich....
FollowupID: 696560

Follow Up By: Wilko - Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 20:15

Monday, Aug 02, 2010 at 20:15
Agreed paying the fine would be a lot cheaper and if they made them pay for the graders etc a lot less people would do it.

It is so annoying to the people who regularly use those roads to have them torn up by people who deliberately drive around them.

Cheers Wilko
FollowupID: 696566

Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 09:58

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 09:58
"IMHO I dont have a gps and I dont want one, Its not as accurate to being able to read a map properly."
While a good paper map is a neccesity, I don't believe anyone (including you) could as accurately position themselves on it to plus or minus 5 metres like a GPS can ;-)
Cheers Craig..............
FollowupID: 696615

Follow Up By: Wilko - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 19:14

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 19:14
Hi Crackles,

Agreed but at least my map will never send me down a one way street the wrong way like a mates did to him.

Cheers Wilko
FollowupID: 696671

Follow Up By: Member - Duncs - Wednesday, Aug 04, 2010 at 10:35

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2010 at 10:35
I missed a turn the other night in the company car. The GPS did not acknowledge that it simply took me 45km to the next town so I could drive around the block. That added over an hour to my trip.

Someone had set the GPS to avoid U turns.

The problem with the GPS is that it does not tell you where you are going it only tells you where you are and what your next turn should be.

FollowupID: 696714

Follow Up By: Crackles - Wednesday, Aug 04, 2010 at 13:45

Wednesday, Aug 04, 2010 at 13:45
"The problem with the GPS is that it does not tell you where you are going"
Not quite true Duncs. After selecting your destination the GPS (road navigator) puts a map of the entire route up for you to check to confirm it is where in fact you want to go. If the scale is not to your liking this at the push of a few buttons can be broken down to tell you exactly where you are going with a detailed illustration of every intersection. Then as you are driving it tells you the name of the road you are on at any one time.
I suppose the problem is if we choose not to look at the detail the tool can give, set it up incorrectly & then blindly follow the voice there is only one person to blame. It would be no different to using a paper map, disregard which way north is, then hold the map upside down & proceed to turn left instead of right. And I'm sure plenty of people have done that too ;-)
Cheers Craig.............
FollowupID: 696730

Reply By: Member - Bucky - Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 04:19

Tuesday, Aug 03, 2010 at 04:19
We left home 3 weeks back for Innamincka, and it rained all the way from Mildura to Broken Hill...
I went to the local "cop shop", and asked for a road reports.

CLOSED,............. so we just propped in Broken another day, and was glad we did. It's that simple, lots to see and do
Had to stay in Tiboburra another day ( just relaxed, a bit more.)

It gave us the opportunity to enjoy the trip even more, and meet some gr8 people.

OBEY the signs, and when in doubt, ask !

That's the way it is.


AnswerID: 426041

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