Patterico's Pontifications

10/9/2007

I Wonder if He Fastened his Seatbelt?

Filed under: Political Correctness — DRJ @ 8:08 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

I know modern children are precocious but this is novel.

From Broomfield, Colorado in the Denver metropolitan area:

“A 6-year-old boy was hungry and decided he’d go to Applebees. So he grabbed the car keys, took his booster seat from the back seat of his grandmother’s car and placed it in the driver’s seat, then made a go of driving himself to the restaurant Tuesday.

He made it about 75 feet. Unable to take the car out of reverse, he crossed the street and ran into a transformer and communication box, knocking out electricity and phone service to dozens of townhomes. Nobody was injured and the boy, whose name was not released, got out of his car and told his grandmother what happened.

“He proceeded to start the car and started backing up,” said Sgt. Colleen O’Connell of the Broomfield Police Department. “He went backward about 47 feet, hit the curb, then went backward another 29 feet.” Investigators couldn’t figure out how the boy reached the accelerator.

No charges will be filed.

“I have five children of my own, so I know you cannot watch them every minute they’re awake,” said nearby resident Nancy Hollis, whose power was knocked out by the accident. “

That’s an understanding neighbor.

Still, doesn’t it say something about our society that we can successfully teach a child to take along his booster seat but we can’t teach him it’s wrong to steal a car or to drive without a license, an adult, or permission?

— DRJ

14 Responses to “I Wonder if He Fastened his Seatbelt?”

  1. I teach Driver Education where I am, and you would be amazed at what 15 and 16 year-old students think they can and can’t do in a car. And, that doesn’t even begin to include the driving part.

    reff (4e3fcd)

  2. Look for the products liability suit against the car manufacturer for not making the car childproof.

    nk (6e4f93)

  3. Heh. He wasn’t taught to take his booster; he obviously knew he couldn’t see out the windshield without it.

    Anwyn (a130c1)

  4. And no, it doesn’t say anything about society; only about him and his parents. Where “we” includes “me,” “we” didn’t teach him anything.

    Anwyn (a130c1)

  5. Umm…six. Six. Years. Old. Unless you are the group that thinks that Kindergartners need to be taught about safe sex, I am a-thinkin’ that teaching them that Grand Theft Auto is “Bad! Mmm’kay?” is also just a wee outside their lesson plan.

    Seeing how it is Colorado, I expect two things to happen. #1) The parent’s insurance will go up as they have an under-25 driver in the house. #2) Some bubble-head in the state assembly will be lobbying for “child resistant locks” on car doors.

    Is there a chance we can get a humor transplant for Anwyn?

    MunDane (d3328f)

  6. Kid takes the initiative to solve his own need – self reliance – and all Patterico can do is bitch.

    M. Simon (cf8ab0)

  7. I’m not DRJ.

    Patterico (bad89b)

  8. Is there a chance we can get a humor transplant for Anwyn?

    Where “we” includes “you” … no.

    Anwyn (a130c1)

  9. This happens frequently. The kids are just mimicking the actions they observe their parents do every day.

    My brother once pulled out the parking brake on my grandfathers pick up truck in a pasture, sent the thing rolling down a hill. (it stopped at the bottom, no damage or injuries)

    Techie (c003f1)

  10. The most disturbing thing about this story is that he was trying to get to Applebee’s. It’s only slightly better than car-jacking someone to get to Arby’s.

    JohnO (5d7c41)

  11. I have a 15 year old daughter. My car insurance has SPECIFICALLY excluded her as a driver since she was 4 years old.

    I called them and asked about it. I was told that this kind of thing happens all of the time, and they don’t have to pay for it if they exclude the kids.

    tomjedrz (562284)

  12. Tomjedrz – There are several states whose Courts have found that specific exclusions are contrary to the legislative intent and public policy of requiring proof of financial responsibility for automobiles.

    JD (d27d21)

  13. That’s an understanding neighbor.

    I would have been unable to comment to the reporter…

    I likely would still have been laughing too hard…

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  14. Investigators couldn’t figure out how the boy reached the accelerator.

    My first thought on reading that was, if he got it into reverse he wouldn’t necessarily have needed to reach the accelerator — but he would have needed to reach the foot brake to get it out of park.

    Unless it was a stick, in which case he shouldn’t have been able to start it without his foot on the clutch.

    McGehee (25adee)


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