A woman in Pennsylvania gave an unusual excuse to police after she was caught driving on railroad tracks: “The GPS told me to do it.”
That’s more or less what a woman told officers with the Duquesne Police Department earlier this week, according to a Facebook post from the office.
The woman, according to police, was “100% sober and had no medical conditions affecting her decision-making.”
The unnamed woman from Sewickley was pulled over near the railroad tracks at Grant Avenue and State Route 837 at 10 p.m. local time on Nov. 21.
An accompanying photo posted by the Duquesne Police Department shows the woman’s car straddling one of the train tracks.
When asked by commenters, the department clarified that the woman didn’t turn onto the tracks, as the photo might suggest. “This vehicle was going straight on the highway and veered off,” the department said.
Police said the woman’s car was towed from the tracks and she was cited for careless driving.
“It happens all the time there,” one Facebook user wrote. “Kinda head shaking.”
Next to the railroad tracks is a roadway that other drivers use.
Duquesne, in Allegheny County, is located near Pittsburgh.
Not the First
The woman isn’t the first to get misled by GPS. In May, police in Iowa issued a warning to drivers after four people got stuck in dirt ravines, according to the Des Moines Register.
The GPS systems took drivers down a “basically non-existent road” that’s dangerous for motorists, the Register noted.
“Use your brain,” said Mount Vernon Police Chief Doug Shannon, reported The Register. “If your brain tells you not to go down, that’s probably not a good way to go.”
“If your GPS is telling you that on your phone, obviously there’s better routes,” Shannon said.
In July 2018, a man drove an 18-wheeler truck into the Atlantic Ocean before a beach stopped his vehicle from going any further, the Charlotte Observer reported, adding the driver said he was misled by GPS.
Carl Seto, who towed the 18-wheeler out from the sand, said he rescues several buses from the sea each year, presumably due to GPS problems, the Virginian Pilot reported.
“They don’t follow the signs,” Seto said, according to the Pilot. “They just keep going.”
And New York State Police said a bus driver that smashed into a Long Island overpass was using a “noncommercial vehicle GPS device,” the New York Post reported in April. The crash left two teen girls injured and hospitalized.
He did not seem to be familiar with commercial vehicle restrictions on the parkway https://t.co/waJjoKpPOv
— New York Post (@nypost) April 9, 2018
“You would think that driver—there’s signs everywhere—if he drives for a living, these are the things he’s required to know,” Stephen Martinez, the father of a girl on the bus, was quoted as saying.
Traffic Deaths Down Across US in 2018
U.S. traffic deaths fell 3.1 percent in the first six months of 2018, according to preliminary figures released in October 2018, Reuters reported.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that 2017 traffic deaths fell by 1.8 percent to 37,133 after traffic deaths rose sharply in the previous two years, according to final figures. The U.S. traffic fatality rate fell to 1.08 deaths per 100 million miles traveled for the first half of 2018.
Reuters contributed to this report.