Gotta Watch: Kid drivers
A young boy drives a car while his father encourages him.
September 6th, 2011
10:17 AM ET

Gotta Watch: Kid drivers

There are bad drivers. There are "beary" bad drivers and then there are kid drivers. You read that correctly - children getting behind the wheel and hitting the roadway years before they're legally allowed to do so. You've gotta watch these tiny drivers get behind the wheel and see what happens next.

A family drive – The whole family hops into the car for this seven-year-old's country drive. With mom and baby unbuckled in the back and dad filming the littlest driver in the front, the boy steers his away along the road.
[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2009/08/05/pkg.can.7.year.old.driver.ctv"%5D

Snack attack – A six-year-old boy was on a mission. This was no joy ride. He was hungry and headed to the nearest store for grub. Along the way, he had to stand up just to shift gears. Watch how this food run ends.
[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/04/18/or.kid.driver.kobi"%5D

I missed the bus – A six-year-old decides to grab the family's car keys and head to school after he misses his school bus. He's determined to take on the 10-mile trek and get to class on time.
[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2009/01/07/dnt.va.6.yr.old.car.crash.wtvr"%5D

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soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. av8tor506sk

    well i think kids should be allowed to drive on a closed course after a certain age...i beleive it builds hand eye cordination along with skills for when they are older...i can remember my parents letting me drive down our drive way which is about 6 miles long..my mother was a drivers ed teacher tho

    September 6, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • LRonaldHubbs

      I agree completely, provided that age is some time after they are physically capable of operating the vehicle. Closed-course experience is the best way to learn to operate a vehicle IMO, and should happen prior to learning safe road driving. That way you get the basics down, and already have some familiarity when you start learning the rules of the road. Also, you never really understand your limitations or your vehicle's until you've crossed them. I encounter so many people in the winter who are hunched over the wheel, white-knuckled, driving at half the speed limit, absolutely terrified because there's a film of snow on the road. They demonstrate exactly why closed-course training is needed.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. ewwwww

    @av8tor506sk: I believe you are nuts!

    September 6, 2011 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • LRonaldHubbs

      What's wrong with training on a closed-course, exactly? I learned to drive a junker car off-road years before I was legal to drive on-road. Do you really not see the value in this experience? How about snow driving? The only way to become skilled and safe is to screw up a few times and learn from it. What better (safer) place to learn than on a closed course? IMO the sooner kids can learn (within reason) the better, because they'll have that much more experience before they are trusted along-side other drivers. If the act of operating the vehicle is second nature to them, they can pay that much more attention to their surroundings.

      September 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  3. angryersmell

    i drove a car with family members inside on a gravel foresty road when i was 7. big surprise: no one died. furthermore, that's a lot different than stealing the family car to go get candy or leading the police on a chase through busy streets to avoid church. put you moral panic buttons away and do something that will actually help protect your children: start a small business to guarentee them a job or open a college fund.

    September 6, 2011 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shinea

      What does morality have to do with common sense?? No one had seat belts on, the baby in the back was unstrapped, the idiot of a father was egging the kid to drive faster. Just because no one died on this trip doesn't make it any less stupid. Yes, help your kids ... start by teaching them some COMMON SENSE!

      September 6, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Ian

    Starting at about age 8, while up in northern Minnesota my father allowed me to sit on his lap and steer the car (he controlled the gas). This was only on desolate roads going back to our cabin; of course we weren't doing this on busy roads. Once I was tall enough to reach the pedals, he would allow me to operate the gas and eventually allowed me to drive with him in the passenger seat (this was around 13-16). Since I was in his lap most of the time, if anything were to arise he would be able to assume control of the wheel right away. In safe practice, I believe this allowed me to be a better driver and trained me from an early age.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      No danger? No. Think about what would have happened if a deer shot out of the woods in front of you, your dad slammed the breaks, the deer and car collided. You would have been crushed between your daddy and the seeding wheel.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. toby

    Yes, let's pander to theses parents and children. It's all so cute and fun, they are just kids being kids until one of them plows through a state fair killing you and your children.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joe D

    You guys are right, driving is a right and averyone should be allowed to. Infants, toddlers, whatever works. They should all be able to own guns, and no one should pay taxes.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Interestingly... this country existed and thrived for over 125 years with no federal personal income taxes whatsoever. Since then, people have been indoctrinated into thinking that a federal personal income tax is normal.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Robert (Washington)

    When I was a boy from 13-15 My father would periodically take me out on this back country road on the Colorado Plateau and have me drive for 100 or so miles a day. No problems, no disruption to anyone, it's a common practice with "normal" parents who don't bubble wrap their children and it's something I will do for my children. Parents needs to raise their own children and not leave it up to schools, drivers ed, the media etc who really have no business in the matter. Should these parents ever get their children back they may wish to invest more than 30 minutes out of their day actually raising them.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rob

      Yahoo Mountain Dew... a chew chew chew... When we was done raising the chickens, we done raised up our kids. Yup while the rest of you were REARING children and RAISING chickens, we was out drivin' and raisin' kids AND chickens.
      yuk yuk yuk....

      September 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Robert... I totally agree, and appreciate your reasonable position and explanation. Too bad people like Rob aren't smart enough to provide a resonable argument to the contrary.

      September 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Cody J

    As long as there is someone who knows how to drive and can stop things if they go even the slightest bit wrong then its okay, but if its a lone child behind the wheel of a car, thats where I would draw the line, so dont go bashing things until you see both sides of an arguement

    September 6, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      These kids are small enough to be killed when the explosive airbags deploy. No one can "stop" that, Cody. I hope you aren't a parent.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fiona

      ...and work on your spelling, for cripe's sake.

      September 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. boogietime

    By the time I was 12, I could do 0-60 in 6 seconds flat.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Fiona

    All of this confirms what I have long felt: there are far too many people in the world who should not be allowed to breed and raise children.

    September 6, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • nate

      And you are one of them!

      September 6, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  11. looserisimo

    I want to comment.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Engineer2

    There are plenty of well raised younger teenagers who are responsible and coordinated enough to drive heavy equipment such as tractors and bobcats. These are the kids who are successfully able to drive their family cars or trucks on their own private property (eg extended driveways or large backyards). Evidently this level of personal responsibility and capability at a younger age is beyond the comprehension of many posters who probably were not raised in an environment where this was expected. There are also plenty of adults who currently drive who should not be given this responsibility. There may be a correlation here 😉

    September 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Kellie

    To all of the mothers out there, especially 'new moms', that are commenting on here, shut the hell up. No one wants to hear you, your opinions do not count. Ever heard of the word 'baised'? Also, since you are unable to relax, why are you online commenting on cnn? Shouldn't you be feeding your disgusting spawn cheerios right now?

    September 6, 2011 at 3:33 pm | Report abuse |
  14. kmac

    I live in Oregon and envy my fellow 6 year old neighbor in methford (medford) for driving himself to get something to eat when his parents were probably busy or too 'high' to take him. Us kids in oregon might not be the brightest, but we have a hole lotta duck tape street smarts and rolls of change that will get us where we need to go. Im not saying the thought of a young driver isnt scary, but the motivation of a young adventurous mind is priceless.

    September 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. bahles

    The first time I ever drove was 14 years old, 11pm at night, during heavy snow on gravel back roads. Drove a Chevrolet Blazer. Didn't crash.

    September 6, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
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