Too much electronic nannying in modern cars
26 March 2007 11:08
Safety matters, but not if seatbelt beeps drive you up the wall, says Ben Barry
I’m all for not flying through the windscreen in the event of an accident, but it seems ‘bleep’ warning systems have gone too far. You can’t even manoeuvre around a multi-storey these days without the no-seatbelt warning bong chiming away (Vauxhall’s Astra VXR being an honourable exception). But yesterday things got really stupid. I took the new Cadillac SRX out for a run to celebrate the year’s first British Summer Time evening (yes, I know, there are more appropriate cars).
We got off to a bad start, the ‘crossover’ (is it?) demanding I put my seatbelt on as soon as I primed the ignition – the engine wasn’t even running. When I returned from my jaunt, I shut the engine off and jumped out before realising the sunroof was still open. I got back in. But because the sunroof only works when the ignition’s on, I inserted the key and the chimes rang out, demanding I put my seatbelt back on while I remained stationary in a quiet suburban street. Madness.