A mayor in an Italian town is in the process of banning the use of Google Maps after multiple incidents of tourists getting lost and even stuck on local roads.
The hamlet of Baunei, a small settlement on the Italian island of Sardinia, has seen nearly 150 emergency service calls in the past year and a half due to mishaps with the GPS platform, according to The Daily Beast.
Baunei Mayor Salvatore Corrias finally had enough last week when passengers in a Porsche nearly crashed off the side of a cliff on their way to a remote beach.
When first responders showed up, they had to physically lift the car and turn it around.
“There was no way down to the beach on foot for them,” Corrias told The Daily Beast.
“There wasn’t even a way to turn their expensive car around. But even worse, if they had followed the directions at night, Google would have sent them right off the cliff.”
Since the incident, the angry mayor has placed “no Google Maps” signs around all over the island, warning tourists and citizens alike to the danger at hand.
“We are putting them up everywhere,” Corrias told the Italian news website ANSA.
“The old paper maps are better.”
Several hikers have even gone missing thanks to faulty directions.
“This has become a real problem. It’s not possible for us to ban its use so this is a warning: do not use Google Maps as you’ll end up in an obscure place,” Corrias told The Guardian.
“It just requires a little common sense.”
Corrias didn’t immediately turn to legal actions.
“We wrote to Google hundreds of times, so we have no choice but to file a legal complaint to block it,” he told The Daily Beast.
Other small towns, including several hamlets in the Alps, are joining Baunei, signing petitions to ban Google Maps in their specific locations due to skiers getting lost in isolated mountain ranges.
Google is also known for leading tourists into Venice, even though the city has a “car-free” policy.
The tech giant has responded to the Sardinia incidents with a statement.
“We’re aware of an issue in Sardinia where Google Maps is routing some drivers down roads that can be difficult to navigate due to their terrain,” the statement read, according to The Daily Beast. “We’re currently investigating ways that we can better alert drivers about these types of roads.”
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