Why Are These Children Driving?

Published Wednesday, October 26, 2011 2:10 PM

I'm still trying to erase the shock from a few incidents recently reported in the news. In separate incidences in two different states, the police pulled over vehicles where they found 9-year olds to be the drivers! In each case, the father was too drunk to drive and so rather than waiting it out before getting in the car, they decided that their 9-year old child should drive. What in the world! Each child was pulled over while driving a VAN, not a car.

I have so many questions, on so many levels, but it need not be said that if these two were "caught", there are probably many others that are never found out about. In one case the child did hit something with the family vehicle and it was witnessed by an officer. In the other, the officer noticed a child was driving and it was around 3 am!!!

Wow, these poor children obviously are being forced to care for their parents rather than the other way around. I'm sure they don't realize the true risk in helping their parents by driving, and the parents really need to have their licenses (and vehicles) suspended.

On another note, when a 5-year-old girl came home from school yesterday and couldn't find her parents, she decided to take the family SUV to look for her mom! Apparently, the mom and dad had a misunderstanding as to who would be home to meet their daughter, and the little girl was scared at home alone, so she found the keys and started the SUV. She ended up backing into her neighbors yard across the street and then went back into her house to dial 9-1-1 and explain that she needed someone to come put her mommy's SUV back before she gets home. Her parents were contacted and all worked out ok in this situation.

The latter story teaches how important it is for parents to have an emergency plan in place for children, which includes emergency contacts for children to call when they can't reach their mom, dad or guardian. Practice the plan with them to be sure they know what to do, rather than just telling them and have emergency contacts other than your spouse, on hand in the event that you can't reach them right away.

by parker
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