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Looking back: Truck loads of trouble for drivers
7:10pm Tuesday 30th July 2013 in News
Historic bridges, buildings and walls were under threat in the early 2000s as drivers struggled to get to grips with pioneering satellite navigation technology.
The structures around Sussex had not seen such a threat since the Luftwaffe came over the English Channel during the 1940s for their devastating bombing raids.
A bin lorry driver was one of those to cause carnage in March 2003 when he blindly followed his satellite navigation system which sent him over the top of a traffic bollard in Rottingdean High Street.
While he was left to wait for mechanics to free him, residents of Rottingdean chuckled at the side of the roads at his misfortune.
Five years later the problem came from above rather than below when a driver got stuck underneath the bridge at Brighton railway station.
The panic-stricken man had to deflate all his tyres in order to reverse back out.
However, by this time the damage had already been done.
While the embarrassed driver skulked off without a word, Lewes MP Norman Baker blamed the rise in lorries and vans coming unstuck on the new hi-tech gadgets.
Mary Spence, the then president of the British Cartographic Society added that people left their “common sense” outside the vehicle when they plugged in their satellite navigation systems.
However, sometimes sat navs are not to blame – crashes are simply down to driver error.
In October 2008 a Marks and Spencer delivery lorry got stuck in a wall while trying to park.
As the driver tried to move forward, the wall collapsed and trapped the vehicle.
Red faced Marks and Spencer bosses said at the time: “He got into a bit of difficulty but thankfully nobody was hurt.”
The road was closed and it was down to kind-hearted onlookers to help the driver pick up bricks and rubble so he could drive away.
Historic Pevensey Castle has also had run-ins with heavy goods vehicles over the years with the foundations regularly rattled by careless drivers.
Some vehicles are said to have taken chunks out of the castle walls by driving too close to the structure.
ON THIS DAY
1629: An earthquake in Naples, Italy, kills about 10,000 people
1932: Premiere of Walt Disney's Flowers and Trees, the first cartoon short to use Technicolor and the first Academy Award winning cartoon short.
1962: The Trans-Canada Highway, the largest national highway in the world, is officially opened.
1974: In the Watergate scandal, U.S. President Richard Nixon releases subpoenaed White House recordings.
2003: In Mexico, the last 'old style' Volkswagen Beetle rolls off the assembly line.
2006: The world's longest running music show, Top of the Pops, is broadcast for the last time on BBC Two.
The Argus’ popular “Looking Back” feature has been compiled into an A4, soft back book which catalogues the events that have made their mark on the people of Sussex. The fascinating archive of “Looking Back” images dates back to the 1930s when The Argus first started to print photographs. The book costs £6.99 including postage and packing. To order please visit theargus.co.uk/store
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