Family video of child driving prompts Quebec probe

Tue Aug 4, 2009 10:29am EDT
 
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TORONTO (Reuters) - A YouTube video showing a 7-year-old boy at the wheel of a sport utility vehicle -- with his family cheering him on -- has prompted an investigation by Quebec police and family services, police said on Tuesday.

The video, apparently shot by the boy's father from the SUV's passenger seat as the boy drives and his mom and siblings watch from the back seat, was brought to the attention of Quebec Provincial Police on Monday, Sergeant Chantal Mackels said.

"We now know who the person is," Mackels said, noting charges are still being worked out.

Finding the family wasn't much of a challenge, given the father's enthusiastic narration of the video, including their location in Quebec and the boy's first name.

The woman in the back seat also calls out the father's name, apparently urging him not to distract the child. During the video, the father calls out to "Samuel" to smile for the camera. The boy, chewing gum, obliges.

The father also panned the camera into the back seat of the vehicle to show the mother, with an unrestrained young girl on her lap, and an older boy.

Police are considering both criminal charges and traffic violations and have also contacted the province's department of child protection to investigate the family, Mackels said.

And while she's seen cases of children driving under the legal age of 16 years before, Mackels said she's never come across a case where the evidence is supplied online, by the perpetrator's proud father.

"Like this, on YouTube? No. This is a new one for me," Mackels said.

(Reporting by Andrea Hopkins; Editing by Eric Walsh)