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

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…

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  1. Chuma says:

    The thing is Derovius, this is a forum on the internet and things are done differently than say in real life.  In real life, none of us would talk to you and infact if we were having this discussion in say a pub, you would probably have been barred from it.  On here, we need mods to stop people like you from ruining it for everyone else because they do not have the normal powers to simply reject you from the conversation that is being had.  You claim GP is a popularity contest, but you don’t get to have such conversations away from the internet if you act like an arsehole all the time because you don’t have any friends.  I’m sorry that you haven’t yet learned how to interact with other human beings, but I can assure you that everyone else that is telling you that you are in the wrong is correct.  I hope some day soon you can appreciate that fact for the truth that it is.

  2. Bigman-K says:

    Are you serious? Listen i don’t think anyone thinks a 6 year old should be playing the GTA games but to say that a 6 year old playing GTA (which is relatively harmless although inappropriate) is worse then a 6 year old driving a vehical in which he could get into a accident and harm/kill himself and others is idiocy at it’s worst.


     "No law means no law" – Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black on the First Amendment

  3. Xveers says:

    Honestly, given how he seems to have been an intelligent and observant kid, I don’t think it’s really -that- much of a stretch for him to figure it out.

    First off, they haven’t mentioned it, but I assume that he was in an automatic. I don’t really see him doing it in a standard. period.

    Secondly, the basics are pretty simple. Assuming he’s been in a car somewhat often, he’s probably clued in that keys go in ignition, turn to make engine go on. He might have cranked it a bit much, but I’m willing to bet he figured that out. For gears, There’d be Park, Neutral, Reverse, Drive, and probably One and perhaps Two. He might not understand the reasoning behind Neutral and the numbered gears, but "Drive" and "Reverse" would probably be pretty easy for him to figure out as well. Lastly, he’s only got two pedals. Rather nicely matches up with the mechanics of driving. One button goes faster, one slows down. About 10 seconds of experimenting would tell him which does what.

    Best keep your wits about you: The gears of life are always spinning, and ignorance eventually means you’ll get caught in them.

  4. Gabriel Celesta says:

    This story’s even crazier than the one about the kid who took his teacher’s minivan (or whatever vehicle it was) for a brief drive, and the kid’s mother said something on the lines of, "His favorite game is Grand Theft Auto."

    I need a fucking drink.

  5. Kharne says:

    But… But… It’s the internet! I though the whole point was to ditch the discussion in favor of random insults, and ego stroking. That’s how you disuess things online, right? Right?

  6. BrandonL337 says:

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  7. polecatjones says:

    I read in my local newspaper that he was standing up while driving. An uncomfortable driving position, but he was probably tall enough to reach the pedals

  8. JDKJ says:

    The frontpage tends to be a much kinder and gentler place than the backpages . . . where you can get your ass tore up right quick if you don’t know what you’re doing. Ain’t that right, Shadow?

  9. Andrew Eisen says:

    No one whined to me.

    This particular article’s comments section was absolutely littered with posts authored by you that were nothing more than insults directed at one of the readers.

    Didn’t need a tattletale; it was pretty hard to miss.


    Andrew Eisen

  10. Derovius says:

    "please make your mind up. Either you want even application, or you dont. Either you do care about people insulting you and getting away with it, or you dont. You cant care just when it suits you (i.e. you want to throw a tantrum and make a scene), and then not care when somebody tries to deal with it."

     Who says that his enforcement of the rules has to do anything with me. There are numerous other infractions out there, but it seems that AE only magically appears after someone whines to him about me. GP, like everywhere else on the internet, is nothing but a popularity contest; he who whines loudest wins. I’d rather not take any part in that nonsense.

  11. Keddren says:

    Didn’t we leave this sort of tattle tale bullshit behind us in elementary school?  Fight your own battles.

  12. Blu300 says:

    I’m going to have to disagree with both of you in regards to 6 year olds lacking empathy and awareness.

    Two psychologists, Wimmer and Perner carried out whats known as the Sally-Anne test in 1983 in an attempt to test for a child ability to understand what other people believe.

    You can look it up, but it basically involved children being asked to predict what a third party would think in a certain situation.

    85% of 4 year olds passed it.

  13. Arell says:

    Lacking the empathy to relate to others is precisely why a very young child should not be allowed to play certain games.  You said it yourself, a 6 year old canot percieve other people’s pain.  So they’d have less of a problem emulating an act of violence if they are used to the act being "good."  They’re not learning to "hurt others," they’re learning actions that are rewarded in the game.  So a child that young, even one that isn’t being neglected, shouldn’t be playing GTA.  If he had run someone over, he probably wouldn’t have thought twice about it and kept on driving (speculation, but one based on developmental psychology.  college, ftw).

    To me, the issue of him driving and where he "learned" it, and the issue of playing of the game at 6, are two separate problems.

  14. NovaBlack says:

    i still dont get this article.


    How did pressing buttons on a controller, teach him which pedals to push ina car? How did it teach him to get the damn thing started? how did it teach him to change gear? I think there is more too this story.

  15. NovaBlack says:

    Derovious you said:

    ”I’ll "knock it off" when there is an even handed application of the rules, admin. Until then, I shall keep you most busy with censoring.”

    then when AE TRIES to do this :

     "Why should I do your job for you? I could care less that others insult me"

    please make your mind up. Either you want even application, or you dont. Either you do care about people insulting you and getting away with it, or you dont. You cant care just when it suits you (i.e. you want to throw a tantrum and make a scene), and then not care when somebody tries to deal with it.



    AE: "Anyone I see posting a comment with nothing but insults will have their post deleted.  I try to be evenhanded in my moderating but obviously I’m going to miss a few. "

    YOU: Golly gee wiz Batman, who knew that there would be angst in a forum that discusses politics and opinion.

    I REALLY dont understand your point, and neither do you it seems. your logic is that posts filled with ‘nothing but insults’ are perfectly acceptable because this is a forum that discusses politics and opinion? where is the link there? last time i checked in a thesaurus politics wasnt in there next to insult, and neither was opinion.  They mean absolutely different things. You can VERY easily discuss politics and opinions WITHOUT requiring a single insult last time i checked.



  16. Darmoth says:

    There’s another question to ask if they’re going to drag GTA into this, was it actually his game? I think it’s more likely the game belong to the parents, the kid probably picked it up and played it to see what it was, or saw one of his parents playing it and they let him play while they were with him. Given that the parents, at the very least the step mother, seem to show little interest in the kid I guess they just left the game out.

    Obviously, letting the kid play the game isn’t grounds for further neglect charges, but it sure shows a pattern.

  17. Andrew Eisen says:

    Ah, that’s what you’re referring to.  I’ll let those three comments stay.


    Andrew Eisen

  18. Derovius says:

     FFS, do explain to me what sporting venue uses the concept of yardage for points? Glance one… two… three posts above this one and you’re smack dab in the middle of it.

     I can’t believe the admins here need hand holding to, its bad enough one of them is a right wing fundamentalist.

  19. Andrew Eisen says:

    As I implied earlier, I’m not going to catch everything.  As for a football discussion, I don’t see it.  In fact, the only place on this page the word "football" shows up (other than this post) is in your above comment.


    Andrew Eisen

  20. Derovius says:

     Children that are 6 years of age cannot comprehend the concept other people having different view points, much less being entities seperate of themselves. If they cannot perceive the notion that this other human in the game is feeling pain because of their action, how do you argue that they are learning to hurt others?

     Your statement is completely without grounds, in either basic psychology or common sense.

  21. Wolvenmoon says:

    Glad he wasn’t hurt.

    Too bad there aren’t laws that require the repeated pimpslapping of idiots like his parents. I’d get in line.

    Unfortunately our foster care system is pretty bad. Many of the people that volunteer for it do MUCH worse things than neglect/child endangerment. Hopefully he ends up with the good ones.

    "Driving by 6, senator by 10, president by 18, world domination by 30, and galactic overlord by 35." (Assuming he got rid of that presidential age requirement of 35 as a senator)

  22. Derovius says:

     Interesting you would speak so strongly on your dedication to keeping GP safe, clean and spam free, but not 4 posts away is an utterly offtopic discussion on the machinations of football. How… disappointing…

  23. Wolvenmoon says:

    Lots of people think cocaine and crystal meth are harmless too. Does that mean they’re not?

    M rated games are NOT something to give to kids this young, I wish they’d just flat out make it illegal for 12 and under to play M rated games, then leave it up to the parents to decide after that.

    "How would they track it though?"


    –Okay, I think there needs to be another acceptable level after M. I.E. unreal tournament = M rating 1, manhunt and co = M rating 2, and M rating 1 should be completely up to the parents

  24. TBoneTony says:

    Has anyone ever asked, does his parents have the game Grand Theft Auto???

    And if so, which version?

    Is it me or does the Grand Theft Auto part of the story seem to be something that the news have made up just to make news.

    Monster Trucks…a bit more realistic since it is an E rated game.

    But seriously, you could say that the boy learned how to drive his car by watching his mother and father do it, but sadly that would never make any sensationalism news…

    So yeah, I would question the story first before jumping to conclusions here.


  25. JDKJ says:

    Isn’t that also the point were the penalized team gets to take their ball and go home? If not, it should be. 

  26. DarkTetsuya says:

    Well if they’re gonna play The Blame Game, which one would you point the blame at?

    The one that everyone’s heard of, of course. (Even people who’ve prolly never touched a controller in their lives, though that number seems to be shrinking, from the looks of some of these stories…)

    300 Episodes and counting:

  27. Krono says:

    Umm, nothing I said, or have see says that the kids weren’t hers. Just that there was a court order saying the kids shouldn’t be left alone with her. Presumably there’d be problems in the past with mom neglecting the kids, and dad was ordered to make sure that mom wasn’t left in sole charge of the kids.

    Now that he’s failed to do that with this as the result, the kids have been placed in protective custody/foster care.


  28. strathmeyer says:

    "Giving GTA to a six-year-old? Unbelievable…"

    Because it obviously had much more to do with it than Monster Truck Jam? Please…

  29. BearDogg-X says:

    Actually, depending on where the ball is spotted, both penalties would count. So it’s a 30 yard penalty.

    Geaux Saints, Geaux Tigers, Geaux Hornets, Jack Thompson can geaux chase a chupacabra.

    Proud supporter of the New Orleans Saints, LSU, 1st Amendment; Real American; Hound of Justice; Even through the darkest days, this fire burns always

    Saints(3-4), LSU(7-0)

  30. Thomas McKenna says:

    Points can be made without calling the other person’s character into account.  You used to make points while calling the other persons character into account.  That worked.  That was fine.  Now you just troll.  Didn’t see what you said to AL, but his definition of neglect is sound right there.

  31. Weatherlight says:

    I am more upset about the kid was playing GTA then he tried to drive the car. It looks pretty pretty clear that there was an issue with the mother. And the father unfortunetly should have known better, but at the same time, I feel for him trying to keep the family together. I hope that the father leaves the wife and is able to get the kids back.


  32. Andrew Eisen says:

    Angst is no excuse for bad manners, personal attacks, or off topic posts.  Sure, I see how discussions can get heated and why that stuff happens but that’s why I’m here, to moderate it and keep it from getting out of hand.

    "Why should I do your job for you?"

    Okay, feel free not to point out any offending posts that I’ve missed.


    Andrew Eisen

  33. BrandonL337 says:

    Well, considering they probable had to send a tow truck to pick up the car I’d say, Yes, yes he did

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  34. BrandonL337 says:

    LOL I’m an Xbox owner with about three bricked systems to my name and even I LOLed

    There have always been motherf*ckers, there will always be motherf*ckers, but what we can’t do is let them control our motherf*cking lives. -John Oliver, December 1st, 2008

  35. Derovius says:

    "Anyone I see posting a comment with nothing but insults will have their post deleted.  I try to be evenhanded in my moderating but obviously I’m going to miss a few. "

    Golly gee wiz Batman, who knew that there would be angst in a forum that discusses politics and opinion.

    "Feel free to point out any offending posts I’ve missed and I’ll address them."

     Why should I do your job for you? I could care less that others insult me,

  36. Andrew Eisen says:

    Anyone I see posting a comment with nothing but insults will have their post deleted.  I try to be evenhanded in my moderating but obviously I’m going to miss a few.  Feel free to point out any offending posts I’ve missed and I’ll address them.


    Andrew Eisen

  37. Krono says:

    Nah. There was enough of a history there that there was a court order forbidding the mom from being left alone with the kids. Given that they ignored it and the result was one of the kids crashing a car in an attempt to go to school I’d say that it’s definitely time for child endangerment charges. The bottom line is that something ain’t right in that household, and this is the straw that gets something substantial done about it.


  38. Ormick says:

    Something I say frequently in driving games online "No, this is NOT indicitave of how I drive IRL."

    Yes I have a WIP. Just wait and see.

  39. Mattie says:

    No way. The car had been totaled because the Mom wouldn’t wake up. The kid is very lucky that he didn’t kill someone else or himself.

  40. Father Time says:

    Anyone else think child endangerment is too harsh? I mean she probably puts her keys in the exact same spot all the time and once the child figures that out…


    Debates are like merry go rounds Two people take their positions then they go through the same points over and over and over again. Then when it’s over they have the same positions they started in.

  41. CyberSkull says:

    I’m just surprised that the kid was able to translate controller input to actually using the steering wheel. I drive completely different on a game controller and in the car. I’m actually a pretty poor driver in video games.

  42. MrKlorox says:

    So the kids weren’t even hers it turns out. Bad on the father for putting his kids in her custody as well as continuing to be with her. Dude should stop picking up skanks in bars and falling in love with them.

  43. Derovius says:

     The real question is whether or not a 6 year old understands what they are playing. When I was 6, I use to sit in those arcade racing car seats and play with the wheel, pedals and whatnot. Didn’t matter if the game was on or off, you don’t think on that level when you see something interesting and investigate.

  44. MasterAssassin says:

    Ok I’ll agree that at 6 years old he has no bussiness playing GTA. I don’t even think a kid that young could even really appreciate a game like that for what it truely is but seriously stop singling that out like it’s responsible for this. If the kid had played Mario Cart would people be saying that his parents are bad for letting him play that? I’ll agree that his mom is an idiot for leaving her car keys within reach of the kid but I have to say that this is one smart 6 year old if he knew how to unlock the car and start it up as well as turn. I also have to commend him for wanting to go to school as well, so maybe he is mature enough for GTA idk but seriously lets stop talking about GTA and more about the mom for leaving her car keys out where he could get them and not waking up for her son.

  45. TK n Happy Ness says:

    Thank God there are law enforcement officials who actually blame and arrest the parents. Let’s see a lot more parents get arrested when their kid does something this stupid and tries to blame it on games.


    When Jack Thompson runs his mouth, does anyone really care what he has to say anymore?

  46. King of Fiji says:

    Go watch Robocop and see all the awsome and badass things a Ford Taurus is capable of.  😛



  47. Karsten Aaen says:

    Actually, the kind should be commended for wanting to go to schools. As others have said that’s pretty rare these days. I agree that letting a 6 year old play GTA is a pretty bad decision on the parent’s part; the boy still wanted to go (or rather drive) to school – for breakfast and PE.


  48. FireWaterFX says:

    I don’t ever think that the words "Taurus" and "Bad Ass" should ever be in the same sentence.  Other than that the parents pretty much goofed up here.  Also Grand Theft Auto doesn’t teach you how to change the gears in the car.  The child probably learned that from sitting in the car with the parents, observing their actions.  So obviously, we have to ban parents taking their children anywhere in their vehicles.



    Gaming online since 1999 If you enjoy source based games please check out Running TF2 and other popular games.

  49. Baruch_S says:

    Well, at least the kid is motivated. If they put him with a good family, that motivation could take him places.

  50. sortableturnip says:

    You have to hit the reload button…or just click the gun away from the screen (thinking of the coin-op "house of the dead" games)

  51. HungryHungryHomer says:

    Yeah, it’s totally misleading, right? I went hunting with my dad once, and I never did figure out how to pull up my targeting reticule.

  52. HungryHungryHomer says:

    The playstation gun costs twice as much as the xbox gun, but the xbox gun breaks after the first ten times you shoot it.

  53. SeanB says:

    Actually you need to read the rest of the information. She was already in violation of a previous court order just for being alone with the children.

  54. SpiralGray says:

    For everyone deriding the mother for being asleep, for all we know she works a night shift or multiple jobs. I’d be interested to know what rationale the police used to charge the parents with child endangerment. Leaving the car keys on the counter? Giving the kid GTA in the first place? Where exactly is the willful endangerment?

  55. nightwng2000 says:

    Have any other articles specified which GTA it was?

    The kid was pulling 90 degree turns?  DEFINITELY a GTA game.  No real car can pull instant 90 degree turns.  They turn right or left gradually.  🙂  Ok, so picky picky.

    We should, however, be REALLY greatful the family didn’t own a Hummer or Monster Truck. 


    NW2K Software

    Nightwng2000 has also updated his MySpace page: Nightwng2000 is now admin to the group "Parents For Education, Not Legislation" on MySpace as

  56. 1AgainstTheWorld says:

    Totally.  I wouldn’t even know how to load a real gun.  I know if it’s an XBox gun you press the "X" button, and if it’s a Playstation gun you press the square button.  But how do you tell if a real gun is an XBox gun or a Playstation gun?  🙂

  57. Matthew says:

    So could this be used as evidence to suggest that games don’t train you to do *well* at what you do in the game? This kid was not very good at driving a real car, despite having “trained” on games. So it’s logical to hypothesise that violent games also make you not very good at shooting people.

  58. Vash-HT says:

    Yeah I’m just saying that maybe the court order stemmed from some previous incident, maybe she has a history with it.

  59. Austin_Lewis says:

    That’s still child neglect.  It doesn’t matter if you’re sleeping or passed out, neglect is neglect.  Probably why she’s not allowed to be alone with the children.


  60. SeanB says:

    The AP article is the only one that mentioned VG link. Even CNN’s video coverage and interviews say nothing about VG

  61. Vash-HT says:

    Just speculation here, but maybe she wasn’t so much sleeping as she was passed out. The kid did try to wake her up after all, maybe she has a history of alcohol abuse and she got too sauced the night before and her kid couldn’t even get her up.

  62. Michael Chandra says:

    This is in the news here, but no mention of the video games. Guess we dutchies don’t give a damn.

  63. mogbert says:

    Don’t be so surprised how far he got, there really isn’t much traffic there.

    I grew up in Northumberland county. It didn’t have street names until a few years after I left. I’d be surprised if they have gotten more then 3 or 4 traffic signals in the whole county. Sounds like they built a consolidated elementary school now. Their idea of traffic is being behind a bus. The Great Wicomico Bridge (aka Darth Vader Bridge) isn’t that scary. All the kid had to do was stay in his lane, and he did that for the most part. Where he went wrong was not knowing the rules of the road, like speed limits and passing zones. Games don’t teach that.

    I can’t tell you how happy I am that this story didn’t have a tragic ending. It could have been much worse. There are roads down there that are dang curvy.


    Also,  a shout out to anyone else from Northumberland!

  64. SeanB says:

    Turns out it was the last posibility that was right. The mother had already lost rights to be alone with the children from previous charges. I feel really sorry for the kid, but it shows exactly why he’s so damned independant.

  65. Austin_Lewis says:

    Ignoring a court order, that’s great.  And what the hell did she do in the past that she cannot be left alone with her own children? 
    No, no, no, this whole thing smacks of child neglect, and if there’s a court order involved, then it wasn’t the first time.

  66. SeanB says:

    Ahh, so this wasn’t a new situation. The mother had already lost rights to the children without supervision.

  67. sortableturnip says:

    From the Washington Post:

    "The boy’s parents were arrested and charged with felony child endangerment. Wilkins said the father, David E. Dodson, 40, was under a court order not to leave the 6-year-old and his 4-year-old brother alone with their mother, Jacqulyn D. Waltman, 26, at their home in the town of Wicomico Church. But Dodson left for work at 6:30 a.m., and Waltman was still asleep when the 6-year-old missed the bus and then drove off at 7:40 a.m. for Northumberland Elementary School, Wilkins said"

  68. SeanB says:

    From the AP Article

    "When he got out of the car, he started walking to school. He did not want to miss breakfast and PE."

    Mother was at home asleep, and he wanted breakfast….. wow, mother of the year award here.

    For those who dont know, many schools have breakfast programs exactly for households like this, where the parrents are too busy, work night shifts, or sometimes just dont care enough to feed thier children in the morning. I’m not saying which of these 3 the mother represents, just explaining posibilities.

  69. SeanB says:

    I think the child endangerment charges probably stemmed from finding the mother at home asleep, after the child took the car. Not the fact that he played video games. Who knows what else was found at the home.

  70. Zero Beat says:

    Bad on the parents for giving GTA to a six-year-old because it’s not appropriate for a kid that age (although he probably just messes around with the driving), but good on the six-year-old for wanting to go to school, even after crashing into a utility pole.


    "That’s not ironic. That’s justice."

  71. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Ahh, sucks for the kid that he didn’t make it to school in the ride.

    As for the folks, I’m surprised they gave him GTA. But if they think it’s not harmful to him, then it’s not. HOWEVER, that does not merit Child Endangerment charges. They had no idea the kid was gonna take the car.


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

  72. Vany says:

    "Giving GTA to a six-year-old? Unbelievable…"

    Not that unbelievable, really. Pretty darn retarded and irresponsible, sure, but that’s what many parents are unfortunately…

  73. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    Thanks a great many bunches, Andrew. I was getting ready to contact either Dennis or EZK (Dennis through e-mail, EZK through Forums), since I don’t have your e-mail and you’re not on the Forums as far as I know, so I wouldn’t be able to contact you, in order to deal with him. He Trolled Alevan in the JT/SCotUS thread.


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

  74. Derovius says:

    AE:  Knock it off.

     I’ll "knock it off" when there is an even handed application of the rules, admin. Until then, I shall keep you most busy with censoring.

  75. Shadow D. Darkman says:

    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.


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

  76. sortableturnip says:

    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.

  77. King of Fiji says:

    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



  78. Good Lord says:

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

  79. King of Fiji says:

    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.  🙂


  80. Derovius says:

     Wrong again, you can easily shift from drive through neutral into reverse at reasonable speeds so long as you do not apply either the brakes or the gas. So long as the gears have similar angular accelerations, there is little shock when they mesh. Such is why you can easily shift gears standing perfectly still (powered gear is the ~ same velocity as the slave gear).

     Ah, another failed attempt at the realm of applied mechanics. You continue to disappoint, Austin.

  81. King of Fiji says:

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



  82. Austin_Lewis says:

    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.

  83. sortableturnip says:

    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  😉

  84. Austin_Lewis says:

    Some cars you don’t actually NEED to hit the brake, its just really bad for the transmission if you shift while moving.

  85. sortableturnip says:

    Another question:

    How did he get the car into reverse/drive?  You need to hit the brake and move the gear shift at the same time? (I’m assuming the Taurus were Auto Transmissions since I’ve never seen a Taurus with a stick shift)

  86. Sai says:

    And yet there will be at least one person out there arguing it was all GTA’s fault and not bad parenting. Although this will probably be a story they laugh about when he’s older.

  87. Derovius says:

     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.

  88. Krono says:

    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


  89. Derovius says:



      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.

  90. Wolvenmoon says:

    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.

  91. Derovius says:

     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.

  92. Austin_Lewis says:

    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.

  93. sqlrob says:

    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.



  94. King of Fiji says:

    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.  🙁



  95. Austin_Lewis says:

    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. 

  96. SeanB says:

    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.

  97. Austin_Lewis says:

    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.

  98. zel says:

    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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  99. HungryHungryHomer says:

    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?

  100. zel says:

    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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  101. HungryHungryHomer says:

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

  102. Zevorick says:

    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?!

  103. Haggard says:

    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.

  104. Dan says:

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

    ——————————— Ago. Perceptum. Teneo.

  105. sortableturnip says:

    "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."

  106. Overcast says:

    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.

  107. Doomsong says:

    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

  108. sortableturnip says:

    "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…

  109. HarmlessBunny says:

    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…

  110. Aliasalpha says:

    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…


  111. Geoff says:

    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.


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  112. magic_taco says:

    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.

  113. MaskedPixelante says:

    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?

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