Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

January 7, 2009 -

A six-year-old Virginia boy who tried to drive his family car to school told police that he learned to drive from playing Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam.

As reported by the Associated Press, the boy missed his school bus and took the keys to the family ride, a 2005 Ford Taurus. His mother was sleeping at the time. From the AP report:

He made at least two 90-degree turns, passed several cars and ran off the rural two-lane road several times before hitting an embankment and utility pole about a mile and a half from school.

 

"He was very intent on getting to school," said Northumberland County Sheriff Chuck Wilkins. "When he got out of the car, he started walking to school. He did not want to miss breakfast and PE."

The boy's parents were subsequently charged with child endangerment by police. The boy and his four-year-old brother were placed in protective custody.

GP: Giving GTA to a six-year-old? Unbelievable...


Comments

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

While that is true, I was saying that when the car is first started, and the gear needs to be moved from park to reverse or drive, in newer cars you need to hit the brake to allow the gear shift to move (in automatic cars).  This is a safety feature to prevent kids from being able to change the gears while the car is not moving.

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

 This is true.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Are you in love? Your zealousness in replying to nearly each and every post by Austin borderlines stalker territory.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

 Maybe, its hard to find someone this easy to hate.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

If you find Austin easy to hate, then you probably have low standards for hating people.

-Gray17

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

 I... I don't know if thats a compliment or an insult.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Looks like an insult from here, and I don't blame Krono.

After all, you're not really respected around here, even if Sage stalks you or Keddren joins you. I don't claim to have much respect myself, either. Truth is, I don't give a shit. I started commenting here to voice my opinions on topics that catch my attention, which, before you say that, is not every topic here. I don't claim to know why you're here, and I honestly don't give a rat's ass, but it's looking more and more like you're here to crown yourself so high of an authority of GamePolitics that even Dennis can't even do his job without your say-so. Unfortunately for you, that ain't happenin'.

You've been scolded by one mod and argued with another. I honestly can't wait to see you debate Dennis on other users' behavior, be it my "emo" FacePalm, or Amy stating that she would smack a kid if they acted like Jack Thompson, or people like Dave, who simply disagreed with you.

Twenty bucks says your high-and-mighty ass gets the Big Bad BanHammer for your shit.

NovaBlack said it best. "Grow up." Indeed, grow up. You are a cockless embarrassment to us all here at GamePolitics. In fact, you get butthurt when someone pwns your fucking ass.

*takes a deep breath*

I'd say more, but then I'd be no better than you.

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"Game on, brothers and sisters." -Leet Gamer Jargon

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"A Chrono Trigger is anything that unleashes its will or desire to change history!" -Gaspar

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

I thought that was only true for a manual transmission.

Plus, a 2005 Taurus can't already have transmission troubles...oh wait, it's a Ford....nevermind  ;)

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Actually, Tauruses are good cars, which may be why they're the most commonly owned corporate car in America.  As in corporations buy them for people who come in from out of town, need to drive to other locations, etc.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Um to be hoenst I think the only problem the Taurus ever had in its whole production lifetime was transmission hiccups.

 

 

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Taurus' also have a high instance of electrical problems.

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Yeah that dose seem dumb that they could fix the long standing problems with the Tauruses if the problems were around for a long time.

 

And ironically in 23 minutes from this I have to go make sure my car is ready to get towed to a garage as the 14 year old tumbler on my Taurus crapped out which probably isn't helping my argument on why its a ok car.  Either way its still an ok car.  :)

 

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

A car part crapping out after 14 years isn't particularly bad.

-Gray17

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Yeah thats true.  Still it couldn't of waited to completely fail after I got home.  :(  Oh no that would be too simple.

Atleast it hasn't been taken for a joyride by some eager 6 year old with a thrist for knowledge......and that it couldn't even if some little punk tried.  xD

 

 

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

So is this proof that GTA inspires nutrition, exercise and scholastic performance? Damn its a great game...

 

Oh no, I forgot that inspiration is only for BAD things...

 

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

I'm shocked that the kid actually wanted to go to school.  He's got initiative, I'll give'm that.

I'm kind of wondering why he was placed in protective custody though.  I'm guessing it's standard procedure when a parent is charged with child endangerment.  I doubt this is hardly the first incident of an  underage kid taking the parent's car for a joy ride.

 

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

I wonder why his parents let him play GTA, When that game is M rated, Nevertheless i hope the kid aint seriously hurt from the head-on crashes,if that were my kid, i'd have a heart attack.

Magic Taco

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Forget the kid.  How did the Ford Taurus fare in all of this? 

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

not well, he swerved off the road and hit the pole in the passenger side door. It's pretty crushed. The kid got out and kept walking though.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Its sort of funny that a kid is that dedicated to getting to school.  Good thing he wasn't hurt and may the Taurus be living it up in discontinued car heaven.  :(

 

 

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

I used to have one that was a company car, and I have to say that the Taurus is pretty sturdy and badass.  Also had a six CD changer.  I don't know how fast the kid was driving, but if he was able to be taken into child care without needing to go to the hospital, it was probably fine. 

I'm impressed that the kid was still trying to walk to school.  Good for him.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

i've seen video of the car, it wasn't fine. Kid's lucky as hell.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Yeah, I heard it was going over 60 according to other drivers.  That's absolutely amazing... he was driving without his seatbelt, slid into a utility pole with the passenger side rear door and didn't need a trip to the hospital?  That's... I don't know, this is that outlier of car accidents; the car gets totaled, and no one is hurt. 

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

That's not an outlier. Modern cars are *designed* to be totaled. Energy that goes into crumpling the car doesn't go into the passenger.

 

 

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Modern cars are designed to be totaled based on the belief that the driver and passengers are wearing their seatbelt.  The fact that this child didn't die is nothing short of miraculous.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

 Oh, when did you get your engineering degree Austin? The previous poster (the one you replied to) is correct. You however are not. Seatbelts are considered additional safety factors in a design, and all tests involved crash dummies restrained at various tensions then none at all. You don't design a system based on the ideal, you design it around the worst possible (foreseeable) situation.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Where did you get yours?

There's a reason kids are put in booster seats, they become projectiles and fly out the windshield in high speed impacts.

If the kid was going over 60, at typical 6 year old size, and he hit a telephone pole, it really is miraculous that he is alive. You can feel free to google it and calculate yourself how far he could have been thrown. I don't have an engineering degree, nor a degree in psychology, but my intuition's saying you've never even been bumped in a car.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

 Ahahahaha

 AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  Oh dear, where to begin...

 Booster/child seats are meant as anchor points for conventional restraints, not as pseudo-battle armor that lets you fire children out of car windows at telephone poles. Oh dear, I think I wet myself when I read that one. The average child, atleast by the standards for which one would use a safety seat, cannot be fully restrained with both the abdominal belt and the diagonal torso belt. This is something one would know if they ever buckled a childs seatbelt.

 Indeed, a child restrained with only the abdominal portion of the safety system would slip free not unlike a well greased pan bun. Add the safety seat; now said child is buckled firmly to the seat itself, and said seat is can now be anchored securely to the conventional passenger seat. No slippery pan bun children hitting telephone poles.

 Further proof of this is the fact that most older automobiles have simple abdominal belts in the backseats, wherein the designers assumed the nice soft seats infront would buffer them from leaving the vehicle in the case of a crash. The ONLY reason that this has changed in recent years is due to the realization that people in the backseat become projectiles that can seriously injure the foreward occupants in said face-to-frontseat interact. (i.e. massive momentum exchange between rear passagers forehead to back of front passengers skull.)

 Of all the things to argue a Mechanical Engineer about, you choose automotive safety equipment. For shame.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Booster/child seats are meant as anchor points for conventional restraints, not as pseudo-battle armor that lets you fire children out of car windows at telephone poles. Oh dear, I think I wet myself when I read that one.

While that is a highly amusing mental imagine, this statements displays your lack of reading comprehension. Granted

-Gray17

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

 I read it for its literal meaning. To say that booster seats are designed so that children can be made into projectiles is utterly incorrect, all amusement aside. If he meant to say something else, he should have said something else.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Wow can we say bad parents? Sure giving GTA to a 6 year old is pretty bad....but where were the parents when this kid took a ride? Asleep? Hrmmm... yeah parents of the year...

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

"Lewis said the boy was unable to wake up his mother, so he took the keys to the Taurus and began driving toward Northumberland Elementary School."

"Dodson, who according to Wilkins was already at work when the boy took the car"

Yeah that's pretty bad when you child has to get ready themselves and go out to the bus stop alone while you're asleep in bed...

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

I'd think the mother must have had a hangover or something to not wake up to her own son in the morning, but then I considered the fact this must have been a repeat offense due to the child actually learning how to tend to himself and wait for the bus at six years old. Worthless parents. Just be thankful the kid was taken into protective custody now while they were still alive

Not to mention what was the last line on the artcile... Grand Theft Auto at six? Really?!

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

So, despite the fact that he's 6, probably doesn't have the money to get GTA, and would probably, no, DEFINITELY get turned away at the counter, are we going to be hearing more from you-know-who saying that this is undeniable proof that the ESRB is broken?

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

---You are likely to be eaten by a Grue.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

My only question.. is if the boy had said he learned to drive by playing Mario Kart would it have been as big a deal?

Does it give the distance he drove? Cause I have to say, that's pretty impressive for a little guy...

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety" - Benjamin Franklin

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

"Once he got going, the boy navigated his way along Route 200 (Dupont Highway), across a bridge spanning the Great Wicomico River and then turned west on Northumberland Highway, which is about 140 miles from Washington. He made it through two intersections, Wilkins said, and then was "doing a pretty great rate of speed" as he passed cars on the two-lane road while not wearing a seat belt."

"Other drivers noticed. Two people called the sheriff's office, one called the state police and at least one motorist "shouted at him to get off the road when he came to an intersection," Cunningham said."

"The boy had gone 10.4 miles, the sheriff said, and was about a mile and a half from his school in Heathsville when he decided to cross the double line and pass again. But this time, he saw a tractor-trailer coming toward him in the other lane."

"He quickly whipped the car back into his lane, but, unlike in video games, the car swerved out of control, skidded into an embankment and then struck a utility pole on the rear passenger side. Wilkins said the force of the impact cracked a wooden beam on top of the utility pole. The Taurus was severely damaged, if not totaled, Cunningham said."

"Northumberland deputies Jeff VanLandingham and Roger Briney arrived first. "He was crying, hysterical," Briney said, "not from any pain -- he was just adrenalined up on fright." Briney said another motorist said she was driving 60 mph when the boy zoomed past her."

Sortableturnip's Law: As an online discussion of video game violence grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Jack Thompson approaches 1

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

?!?!!? How the hell was the kid able to put the car past 60, while still able to see over the dashboard?

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Prolly the same way the bluehairs get around town here in naples, they're submarine drivers. They sit down, hit the gas and every so often pop their heads up like a periscope, look around, then sit back down and hit the gas some more.

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Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

That's.... rather frightening. Would you mind posting your zip code so I can be sure to stay far, far, FAR away from your roads?

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Just stay clear of Florida, and fly to Florida and use Disney's transportation deals from the airport...  or to spring break beach areas in the right seasons where the older people stay clear of them.

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How to set Xbox 360 Parental Controls

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Southwest florida, naples area. Basically from marco island up to about bonita springs you'll find those kind of drivers. It's a winter get away for snow birds, as we call them, who normally live up north, many from canada as well but mostly retired people driving usually big fancy cars they can barely see over the steering wheel. On the bright side I get to see alot of really nice cars driving around that i'll prolly never get to own, like the Ford GT which is like 150k for one. man i love that car.

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Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

No, if he would have learned to drive on Mario Kart, or some older game... or one of those little kid sized battery powered cars, or an amusement park bumer cars, etc - it don't count.

It only counts because GTA is involved.

So that means GTA is bad. If he would have learned to drive, shooting arrows with dynamite from the side of his car, like in Dukes of Hazzard, it wouldn't count.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

They should be gratefull he actually wants to go to school. That's pretty rare.

--------------------------------- Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

Re: Six-year-old Learned to Drive (Badly) From Video Games

Well, in kids that young - stuff like getting to school on time is really important. I used to hate getting told off so stuff that seems second nature now was like the ultimate sin to me then.

 
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