Denny................ deja vu ?

Forum » Beenos Trumpet » Denny................ deja vu ?

May 07, 2024, 19:07

LA couple sue Google Maps for leading them through dangerous South Africa neighbourhood

Many travellers rely on Google Maps to get them from point A to point B.

However, one American couple ran into life-threatening trouble when they followed the app’s directions in South Africa, and are suing the company in response.

Jason and Katharine Zoladz, of Los Angeles, used Google Maps to navigate from their Airbnb to Cape Town International Airport in October. Little did they know, the app directed them along a section of highway nicknamed Hell Run, which is notorious for violent attacks against tourists.

According to a lawsuit filed on Tuesday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, the couple were returning to the airport to change their rental car to an SUV for a trip to the Kalahari Desert, the Mercury News reported.

The couple never made it to the airport. When they stopped at a red light, they were attacked at gunpoint and Jason’s jaw was broken by a group of armed bandits.

“One of them threw a paving brick through the driver’s-side window, breaking Jason Zoladz’s lower jawbone into several pieces, cutting through his skin and muscle to bone, and rendering him unconscious,” the lawsuit reportedly says.

After they were pulled from the car, the group stole their phones, credit cards and cash before running from the scene.

Google Maps has allegedly received warnings from local officials about the neighbourhood, where “gangs of robbers would lie in wait for tourists travelling in rental cars” and “assault the cars by throwing bricks or large stones through the car windows, violently assaulting the occupants, and stealing valuables”, the lawsuit stated.

Victims tend to be “injured, maimed, or dead” following attacks, it said.

The stretch of road is along the N2 freeway in Cape Town and is often the most direct route in the area, but is a hotspot for stone-throwing attacks.

According to the filing, gangs target this route because they know Google Maps favours it as a way to the airport, meaning tourists often drive through.

The Zoladzes weren’t the first Americans to be attacked at that spot, and both US and South African officials have been trying to work with Google Maps to stop recommending the route.

After getting the attention of a police officer who took the couple to a hospital, Jason underwent surgery on his jaw. The couple claim there is ongoing physical and emotional damage as a result of the attack.

Many victims would simply chalk it up to bad luck and move on, but as the regional director of the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s LA office, Katherine Zoladz decided to launch a case against Google Maps for unspecified damages.

The lawsuit claims Cape Town officials told the couple they were trying to meet with Google Maps to discuss a change in recommended directions. Google Maps allegedly agreed to stop suggesting the area three weeks after the attack on the couple.

A spokesperson for Google told the New York Post it took driver safety “very seriously” and was reviewing the lawsuit.

“We consider a wide range of factors to deliver routes — like road size, directness and estimated travel time – and continually work to improve our routing,” the spokesperson said.

May 07, 2024, 19:10

The N2 has been identified as dangerous for residents and tourists. Photo / Google Maps

Cape Town is a popular spot for tourists to visit while in South Africa, but one does need to exercise caution while moving around. Photo / Supplied

May 07, 2024, 20:47

If you go to Africa, make sure you know the laws of the jungle before doing anything...but yes, Google Maps should have known better...funny that it didn't though...when I use it, it defaults on the safer route...

May 07, 2024, 20:53

Such a fcn disgrace that this thing happened at all...CT should be safe for everyone everywhere...but let's blame Google...why not tax everyone extra who resides in the area...make everyone pay for allowing such nonsense in their about some accountability for a change?

May 08, 2024, 02:59

Deja vu alright after the experience I suffered in September last year driving through the main drag of Khayelitsha. I don't wish to sound like a drama queen but the experience was similar to your above posting. I am very lucky to have come out of it in one piece....perhaps even alive. And that around 8.30 am when I thought it would be a safe time to make my way to the airport. Growing up in D6 I've had some life threatening experiences which I somehow survived but this was different.....I can tell you I was scared, think it has to do with being trapped in a car, the driver's side window smashed and being stuck in traffic with nowhere to go.

May 08, 2024, 05:46

I have avoided using the N2 because of the Security problems in the area between the airport and the central city area,   I believe the safer route is through Bellville to the airport.    For ordinaryy travel to and from Cape Town going off the N2 at Swellendam and travelling from there hrough Ashton, Robertson and Worcester is safer and thereafter usage of the Huguenot tunnel is a safer way to travel to and from Cape Town. 

By the way I see that the Wild Coast route through the Transkei will be completed by mid 2025,   One of the main bridges on that route will be over 399 meters in length and 183 meters above ground level - probably one of the unique bridges of its type in the world.    The toll fees to travel on that road is not known yet - but I think it would probably be R250 plus - wth a saving  of about a similar amount on petrol and diesel cost would result in.people being prepared to travel on that route.  .          

May 08, 2024, 18:45

Most of the lolls are marginally cheaper than the fuel needed for the longer non toll, but fcn irritating...SANRAL for you...

May 08, 2024, 18:51

BTW...the upgrading of the Huguenot Tunnel toll to a double tunnel...duel carriageways in both directions is starting shortly...the second tunnel was completed at the same time as the original, but without any services or infrastructure...just the gat...back in the 90s...about time...

May 12, 2024, 07:06

Such a fcn disgrace that this thing happened at all...CT should be safe for everyone everywhere...but let's blame Google...why not tax everyone extra who resides in the area...make everyone pay for allowing such nonsense in their about some accountability for a change?

Hows  about starting with police presence? Isn't that their job?

May 12, 2024, 07:21

"Hows about starting with police presence? Isn't that their job?"

Yes, cos we wouldn't wanna blame Denise's boeties for their ways.

May 13, 2024, 05:23

I read about it in NZ, the article above quotes the NYPost ..................... news like this must result in dissuading a sizeable number of prospective tourists from visiting the Cape. Ffs these modern day highwaymen are brazenly operating in a central location within the metropolis .

The cops should set up a sting .............. travelling en masse in rental campervans the cops should head down the motorway & take out the gangster gobshites.

May 13, 2024, 08:09

In reality, this really is an easy fix.

Various stings in multiple high crime areas, a few times a day, for a few weeks, would send a message...

Then "politely" talk to each of those individuals that are caught.... but separately.... to get the inside information on who runs what crime organizations in these townships.....  

If the will was really there, it could be done very quickly, very efficiently, and with minimal manpower ... but the will and the interest has to first be there

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