Outcry after Chinese parents allow toddler to ‘drive’ car on country road

Couple widely criticised on the internet after footage emerges of child at the wheel, with her father sitting in the driver’s seat

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 August, 2017, 1:56pm
UPDATED : Monday, 28 August, 2017, 2:23pm

A one-minute video clip appearing to show a toddler “driving” a car along a country road with her parents laughing in the background has been making the rounds online, drawing strong criticism from Chinese internet users.

The short clip, published on the Shanghai-based news website ThePaper.cn on Sunday, shows a female toddler sitting on her father’s lap while holding the steering wheel of a Toyota car.

After a brief period, he lets the unnamed child “drive” the car alone without touching the wheel himself.

No other vehicles or passers-by can be seen in the video.

ThePaper.cn verified that the video was filmed on Friday in Yanhe Tujia autonomous county in Guizhou province, southwest China.

The girl’s father, who was not named, said he let his one-year-old child sit on his lap to “drive the car together” and later allowed the girl to control the steering wheel on her own.

The girl can be seen turning toward the camera at one point, while the mother reminds her, “Don’t forget to look forwards!”

The father then uses his hand to turn her head around, while the sound of the parents’ laughter can be heard in the background, along with cries of “Baby’s driving the car!” and “Faster!”

Chinese boy, six, filmed ‘driving’ family car while sitting on dad’s lap

Chinese internet commenters responded that the incident was an example of risking lives for laughs and that the parents showed no concern for other vehicles using the road or pedestrians.

“The ignorant are truly fearless, not valuing their lives enough. When something happens, they really can’t blame others,” one user said.

Another top-rated comment said: “If they don’t take their own lives seriously, then fine. Don’t put other people’s lives at risk, though, thank you!”

This is not the first incident in which a child was filmed “driving” a car. A 10-second clip showing a six-year-old boy steering his father’s car in the city of Qinzhou in Guangxi was widely circulated online last month.