GPS is killing children

Report highlights rat-run fear

Children crossing sign

A new report from the Dutch research organisation Stichting Onderzoek Navigatiesystemen seeks to compare different satellite navigation systems, and finds that only one allows for proper route planning while labelling the rest "kid killers".

Nav4All was the only product of the 13 examined in the report that was able to plot routes making appropriate use of ring roads and thoroughfares whilst avoiding residential areas. All the competing systems found the shortest route, regardless of the local environments through which it passed.

The tests were done in the Netherlands where many residential areas give pedestrians right of way over the whole road, expecting cars to be used for access only, though driving through such areas is not illegal.

It should come as no surprise that the only product which passed the tot-squasher test is also Dutch; the (currently) free product Nav4All.

Stichting Onderzoek Navigatiesystemen maintains they have no connection with Nav4All, despite their report so firmly endorsing the product. They are an independent research group made up of concerned Dutch citizens who fund the work from their own pockets.

Certainly the growth of satellite navigation technology has turned residential streets in cities around the world into rat runs, though the petrolheads would argue that this is simply more efficient use of the deployed tarmac. Traffic-calming measures, such as chicanes and squeeze-points, can slow down traffic, though to some of course they just present more of a challenge. ®

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