crime

Man arrested for letting child steer car while driving

39 Comments

A 31-year-old man in Koga, Ibaraki Prefecture, has been arrested on suspicion of violating the Road Traffic Law after he let a young boy take hold of the steering wheel of car he was driving.

Police said that the incident came to light when the driver, Shinichi Otsuka, a plumber, posted a video of the incident on the internet on June 12, Fuji TV reported.

Police said Otsuka admitted to letting the child take hold of the steering wheel, while perched on his lap, as they drove along a street at around 3 p.m. on June 6.

However, he has denied the charge, saying that he did not know that he was committing a crime. Police did not say if the boy was Otsuka's son.

See video here.

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39 Comments
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However, he has denied the charge, saying that he did not know that he was committing a crime.

Ignorance is not an excuse, it is part of the offense.

-4 ( +9 / -13 )

Gimme a break, that was standard procedure when I was growing up.

As long as the father is ready to take over at any moment I think it's fine.

Bruce Springstein even sang about this in Glory Days, sitting on his father's lap and steering around town.

Nanny state gone way overboard.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

I really would like to see this guy made an example and see him served a heavy penalty.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

A 31-year-old man... let a young boy... letting the child

Notice how he is not the child's father...

he has denied the charge, saying that he did not know that he was committing a crime

But everyone else knows what he was doing!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Seeing the headline, I was surprised that a road traffic law was actually being enforced (Japanese drivers mostly do as they like as whilst still driving slowly enough to be 'safe'), and indeed, the guy was only caught because he uploaded a video to Youtube.

Japan could probably solve its pension crisis by actually enforcing its traffic laws and fining offenders rather than just making them attend lectures which they'll obviously ignore.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

My father allowed my brother and me to do this. However, that was on logging roads in the middle of mountains, not in a city. This was completely irresponsible of the plumber.

It is rather easy to imagine a situation when the father would need to take over but be hindered from taking appropriate action because a child was between the father and the steering wheel.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

What Burning Bush said. Before Big Nanny starting ruling our lives, all kinds of wild and crazy stuff happened.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Did the same growing up. As long as the chinpira dad has control of the car it's cool.

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Everyone did this at least once when they were young.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I did this when I was young. If the dad is operating the pedals, and is able to grab the wheel, and it's a low-traffic side street, I don't see the problem.

-3 ( +10 / -13 )

"...that was on logging roads in the middle of mountains..."

It would have been quite bumpy then!!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Such a small crime...fine him, fine him heavily, but don't arrest him...so stupid!

With that said...STOP posting stuff like this online. You're just setting yourself up for trouble!!!

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Interesting to see so many negative points on my previous post. I had a judge tell me exactly the same thing many years ago.

If this joker truly believed he was doing no wrong his license should be revoked. Firstly, the child was unrestrained. Secondly he let the child steer the car. Thirdly, he is so ignorant he posted the video online. 3 x 1 = Idiot!

10 ( +15 / -5 )

yes I did this with my dad a few times as well and it was happy memories. There are bigger fish to fry in the sea. Lay off this guy.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

Japan could probably solve its pension crisis by actually enforcing its traffic laws and fining offenders rather than just making them attend lectures which they'll obviously ignore.

What are you talking about? You think tickets don't include fines here? Wife got a 10,000 yen parking ticket recently and I got a 12,000 yen traffic violation. The lectures are just an added bonus.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Back on topic please.

Gotta let the kids do the gears first before graduating to the wheel. But I presume it was an automatic transmission

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I watched a bit of the video.

No seatbelt for the kid, restricted view of the road ahead for the driver.

Could have killed or been killed.

Keep it in an empty parking lot, and off the roads.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Gimme a break, that was standard procedure when I was growing up.

Well I am sure this is illegal in whatever country you came from too. It would without a doubt result in a fine or arrest to let an elementary-aged student drive on city blocks unless your dad was the town sheriff.

You can always tell a person's stupidity by their posting a crime on YouTube.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

It being in Japan, a lecturing at the drivers license office and he's on his way. If it were me......or you.......no more drivers licesnes.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

And he broke the law by posting on internet. If he kept the video's secretly on his ketai, his fun with the kids will remain secret. Problem is one friends like it, friends of friends they'll sharing, friends of other friends find it offensive, others who surfing on net will report it, and the media will grab it !!!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Funny, but some of my earliest memories are sitting on my uncle's lap and steering the family van when going on camping trips. He had his foot on the throttle and brake pedals, and his hands within reach of the wheel. It's not something I would let my kids do, but to be arrested for such at thing is a little overkill.

While the politicians are looting the country, and steering the country to economic ruin, the police are arresting someone for letting a child hold a steering wheel.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

When dad slams on the brakes when an errant bicycle pops out of a side street and the kid bashes his head on the steering wheel followed by dad's chest slamming into the kid's head, catching it between his hard breast bone and the steering wheel, well, we'll all have us a good time then, eh? There's a reason the government has to make laws against doing stupid things.

My dad allowed me to do this, too. In an empty US-sized parking lot. Not on a narrow, busy Japanese street.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Notice how he is not the child's father...

Gotta wonder why the kid called him papa then.

When dad slams on the brakes when an errant bicycle pops out of a side street and the kid bashes his head on the steering wheel followed by dad's chest slamming into the kid's head, catching it between his hard breast bone and the steering wheel, well, we'll all have us a good time then, eh?

They were not driving fast enough for that. Did you watch the video?

My dad allowed me to do this, too. In an empty US-sized parking lot. Not on a narrow, busy Japanese street.

I didn't see another car on the street in the whole video. Hardly a busy street.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Don't post illegal activities on the internet.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

He didn't realise it was crime? What an idiot, and posting it online too.

Definitely a candidate for the next Darwin Awards.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not good to post it online. In Japan it is a big problem for letting children to drive it on road. How come he didn't realize that this wasn't a crime. Everybody knows that this is a big serious crime.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Stating I did it when I was young and no harm was done is irrelevant. Just luck.

We cannot make a judgement whether the traffic conditions were "safe" or not as we have no wide view.

And simply this is dumb. If the unexpected happened (always expect the unexpected) and a car hit them front side and initiated the steering airbag to blow @ 300km/h, there would be no sweet boy left.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@Godfather:

Lm@o! That was a brilliant comment.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

To those who think this is OK, well, it's not. Play around with your own life, not with the lives of others. This is just as bad as talking on your cell, using both feet when driving an automatic, playing games while driving, etc.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

parking lot is OK, but road is not. just this morning i saw 7 mothers driving with children standing in the front with no seat belts. any sudden stop and no teeth.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Gimme a break, that was standard procedure when I was growing up.

Give us a break, it is ridiculous to defend this. Any accident and that kid would have been toast - in addition to the lack of a seat belt, the air bags in cars are not designed to be inflated with a kid's face almost pressed against them and would probably have snapped his neck.

The "we did it when I was growing up and I'm fine" argument is the most imbecile defence around. A lot of kids who weren't wearing seat belts died as a result, so arguments based on personal anecdotes in the field of safety are heavily biased towards lucky survivors and aren't reliable.

I don't think the guy deserves to spend any time in jail for it as this seems to have been an act of stupidity rather than malice, but he definitely needs to have his license suspended for a while.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Added to the above points, nowadays we have air bags as an added danger for kids behind the front wheel, or even strapped into the passenger seats. A little kids head will be hit full force, easy to break the nose, messy.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

seawolf, I agree with your sentiments, but you said ".. A little kids head will be hit full force, easy to break the nose, messy."

I would say that in the least he'd have no face and in the most have no head.

A bit more than a bloody nose.

People just don't get it. Like they think it's a conspiracy to deprive people of rights or something.

Like - jeez - show some brains and love your kid by taking care of them. Don't illegally place them in danger - ie. their face cms from a deadly force.

That's it. No Excuse.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Hmm... if he was a salaryman wearing a suit, I wonder if the police would have been as keen to track him down? Something tells me they took one look at him and thought this single guy could help them meet all their monthly targets for all kinds of crimes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Don't illegally place them in danger - ie. their face cms from a deadly force"

It's almost like he did it on purpose...

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Gimme a break, that was standard procedure when I was growing up.

That depends. Somewhere in an open field, with lots of space around? On your private property? While going really slow? Sure. But on a public road, in traffic? That was absolutely not standard procedure when I was growing up.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The actual news in this article is that someone actually got busted for a traffic infraction.

Koga is a small town with little traffic, by the way.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Driving an automatic with two feet?  Can't you chew gum and talk at the same time? And I don't agree with mandatory airbags. The sound is deafening apparently

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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