New York Senator Charles Schumer says too many trucks and buses are hitting bridges and that the government should do something about it. He may want to talk to Apple; they seem to be finding out that the mapping business is pretty complicated. Seriously, there are always going to be map errors, but perhaps it should be illegal for truckers and bus drivers to use consumer GPS, as opposed to a device that at least attempts to consider height and other restrictions.
Consider the following:
- Approximately 80% of NY state bridge strikes are caused by incorrect GPS directions
- In the past two years, 200 bridge strikes have been recorded in NYC, Westchester County and Long Island
- Earlier this year there were four bridge strikes in a single day in Connecticut
- According to NHTSA data, 214 deaths and 3,000 injuries resulted from 15,000 bridge strikes in 2010
When a reporter for Bloomberg.com asked for comment, the industry was unusually quiet:
Ted Gartner, a spokesman for GPS device maker Garmin Ltd. (GRMN), based in Schaffhausen, Switzerland, didn’t return a phone call seeking comment. Lea Armstrong, a spokeswoman for Amsterdam- based TomTom NV (TMOAF), Europe’s largest producer of portable navigation devices, didn’t respond to an e-mail seeking comment.
The American Trucking Association supports research and says “a call for national standards appears premature.”