The Shotgun Blog
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Kids Driving Cars and the Nanny State
Cops are going after a man in Quebec who let his 7 year old son drive the family car with several members of the family inside, including what looks like a 3-4 year old girl. The father posted the video on YouTube and it has led "authorities" to investigate the man.
In the following CBC report, they say that the father has come out and "apologized" and mentioned that his son never went over 40km/hr, that it occurred 2 years ago, and that they were on a deserted back road. This man has also said that he is willing to meet with police to discuss the matter.
That is a mistake. The police are saying that if it did actually happen 2 years ago that it wouldn't be possible to lay any highway code violations. BUT, it is not too late for Quebec's Child Protection Services to get involved. Not only was a 7 year old driving, but no one on camera was wearing a seat belt and the young girl in the backseat was not in a car seat. By talking to the Police they have the possibility of admitting something that will lead CPS to come in and take their kids away. It is the Nanny State telling you how to live, and if you don't do what they want then they will hurt you.
Which leads me to this point; who was harmed by this act? No one was harmed, it was a family prank. Was it negligent? Maybe. Was it dangerous? Maybe. Is it my business to tell these people what to do with their lives? Nope. Is it the governments business? Well, they will make it their business, that is a result of the Nanny state, because bureaucrats know better than you do what you should do with your lives.
I love comments. I ask for civility in the exchange of comments. Vulgarity is discouraged. Please express yourself creatively with other language. We discuss ideas here, attacks on a person are discouraged.
I can see your points on this. i don't always agree with the views expressed on the WS blog but you make good points.
I agree that if the Police can't lay charges than CPS shouldn't be involved. A CPS investigation scenario when police can't/won't investigate is similar to the HRC investigating Mr. Levant when the Police couldn't/wouldn't.
I think the need to refine our view of law and order and ensure that the Police acting under the criminal code of Canada are the 'authorities'.
Posted by: Chris | 2009-08-05 1:55:34 PM
"Was it negligent? Maybe. Was it dangerous? Maybe."
Surely you must agree that if what the parents do is negligent enough and dangerous enough that a concern for the welfare of the childfren warrants intervention. If the dad had let the kid get drunk then operate a chainsaw, for example. At some point the right of the child to be protected from reckless adults must justify intervention.
But nowhere in your post to you say anything to suggest that this is merely a case of what the parents did as not being bad enough to warrant intervention. You seem to present the more absolute position that the state has no business interfering in what parents do, period. And that position is not just nonsense, it is evil nonsense.
Posted by: Fact Check | 2009-08-05 2:14:03 PM
" You seem to present the more absolute position that the state has no business interfering in what parents do"
I think there should be intervention when harm is done. I would prefer to see that intervention come through families or advocacy organizations, but as long as the state is here then there is an appropriate time to take action.
"And that position is not just nonsense, it is evil nonsense."
CFS/CPS is another matter. I think that the way this organization works is sick and evil. They take on the role of parent and tell you what you can and can't do. They take the kids upon accusation and you have to win them back.
Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-05 2:21:05 PM
In a perfect world the owner of the road would see this video and send a fine/warning to the man and/or raise his rates for the privelege of driving on the road.
Posted by: Floyd Looney | 2009-08-05 4:17:00 PM
This just confirms my motto that one should never provide the state more personal information than absolutely necessary. Better to keep the tyrants as much in the dark as possible.
Posted by: Alain | 2009-08-05 4:46:24 PM
Government cleans up the splat job if the kid drives off the road. Means the tax-payer pays for it. Means the tax payer has a stake.
"...there should be intervention when harm is done."
You mean wait until the government has to clean up the splat job and the taxpayer has to pay for it?
Why not intervene earlier when there's less money wasted and blood spilled? Too Commie for you?
Let me guess: you're a teenage John Galt, right?
Posted by: bigcitylib | 2009-08-05 5:57:07 PM
"Means the tax payer has a stake."
I feel owned. I guess I'm now public property. That's sick.
Does this mean, then, that any activities riskier than a seven year old driving on a deserted road should be considered illegal? Just how infantile do we want our society to become?
Posted by: johndoe124 | 2009-08-05 6:40:56 PM
This story sort of reminds me of an incident several years ago when a guy in Connecticut drove his F-40 at speeds approaching 200 MPH on I-91 early one Sunday morning. The car was fitted with a camera giving the drivers view and another showing the speedo. The guy then started selling a video of his drive. The Connecticut state police got a copy and charged the guy with all sorts of offences a year after it happened. The moral of the story here and with the guy in Quebec is if you are going to do something stupid don't videotape it.
Posted by: The Stig | 2009-08-05 6:43:53 PM
Stig, I agree and have the impression that in both cases the guys were seeking attention. They probably considered it fame and they got lots of it.
Posted by: Alain | 2009-08-05 8:21:28 PM
"that any activities riskier than a seven year old driving on a deserted road should be considered illegal?"
It needs to be judged on a case by case basis. When you make a one-size-fits-all law ( as most of the are) you get into areas of injustice, collectivism and assumptions.
" you are going to do something stupid don't videotape it. "
Good advice :)
Posted by: Scott Carnegie | 2009-08-05 10:28:38 PM
The guy said on LCN that he broadcast this on youtube only to show a couple of friends how proud he was of his 7 years old driving so well.
He was in shock to see how popular his video had become after coming back from camping. “Seeking attention” was clearly not what he was looking for here.
My grandfather taught me how to drive his car, ATV and his huge John Deere tractor when I was only 8 on back country roads. He also gave me countless advices that still help me today. If he had caught me doing something stupid like car surfing however, he would have kick my sorry ass more than once. If he was still alive today, I would trust him with my son’s life and education before any crappy government agencies that pretend to exist “for our own good”.
In the present case, like in many other, the state should f*ck off. This man could faces serious consequences while pedophiles in canada get a slap on the wrist for ruining the lives of young kids? Who are they kidding?
Posted by: Marc | 2009-08-05 10:32:26 PM
As usual BCL comes in, makes a few cheap shots, and leaves.
Fact is we are better at keeping our kids safe than the government. Furthermore, taking a child away from his/her parents is extremely traumatizing and should only occur when there is harm done.
Posted by: Charles | 2009-08-06 5:39:44 AM
Charles, proponents of the Nanny State will always be with us and their only ammunition is cheap shots or emotional pleas that don't stand up to any kind of real logic. Sensibility has been educated right out of existence by the same Nanny State.
My dad taught me to drive when I was very young. No harm was done.
Can you imagine if real event news was reported?
"2000 kids under 12 helped dad harvest a crop today and NO ONE was hurt"
" 140 million law abiding gun owners killed NO ONE today"
Never happen. The need to "fear monger" is the greatest tool of the Nanny State wastes of skin...
Posted by: The original JC | 2009-08-06 6:07:23 AM
So, Scott, what you're telling us that as long as no one is "harmed" by an act, that the state has no business speaking up? What about drinking drivers who don't actually hit anything? Should they still be charged? And what will you say when the citizenry objects to removing this protection during whose tenure drunk driving has actually decreased over the years? That they should shut up and enjoy someone else's liberty?
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-06 6:22:13 AM
JC, a 7-year-old at the helm of a family car loaded with relatives on a twisting, winding, uneven logging road is a far cry from a lone 7-year-old on a tractor plowing a level field. Even then, the boy in the latter case would have to have quite a bit of experience to justify the farmer letting him operate the vehicle unsupervised. The kid in the news story was apparently a total noob.
This was not, technically speaking, an illegal act, as children under 16 are prohibited from operating motor vehicle only on the Queen's highway, not private roads or logging roads. That said, the cops were right to take this gentleman aside and give him a slap upside the head. He could certainly use it.
In spite of the above, I will admit that CPS is frequently staffed by overzealous yuppies who fall over in a dead faint at the thought of kids playing street hockey in a cul-de-sac, or God forbid, baseball in a vacant lot. CPS's mandate should be restricted to acting when the law has actually been broken, not simply when they "have concerns," or are "uncomfortable." It's the children they're supposed to be protecting, not their own sensibilities.
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-06 6:35:05 AM
"Fact is we are better at keeping our kids safe than the government."
Some of us, at any rate. There are acts that warrant intervention, not only by the state, but by any responsible passerby. If I read these signals properly, the contested issue is not if there should be intervention, but when.
"Furthermore, taking a child away from his/her parents is extremely traumatizing and should only occur when there is harm done."
What about when harm is imminent? Is it not better to take down a gunman before he shoots, than to wait until he shoots and then charge him?
Posted by: Shane Matthews | 2009-08-06 7:54:51 AM
Isn't the point of Child Services is to protect children from abuse at home. Physical or Sexual, perhaps Mental (although mental is very subjective) abuse?
Are we ok with ever so slowly lowering the bar as to how government can break a family apart? Those that are so upset by this are they willing to be a foster parent. The more the government intervenes with existing families the more children without real families.This hurts society.
Look at the various cases in Alberta, of kids in Foster care and violence. CS case workers not obeying court orders.
People will say its ok UNTIL the full power of Government comes knocking at your door. You are powerless.
Posted by: Anon | 2009-08-09 11:18:01 AM
1) The first step to protecting the family is to diminish the state.
2) Don't nobody tell the reportress, for the sake of her underbritches, but I heard the kid got 3, count'em, 3 scoops of ice cream for dessert that dinner, for a job well done (zomgz irresponsible parenting!)
Posted by: Lawrence Kong | 2009-08-11 12:53:05 AM
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