Police were shocked after pulling over a car to discover it was being driven by a 13-year-old boy with his mother and 2-year-old sitting on her knee in the backseat. When asked about their behaviour the people inside responded,
“It's only a short journey.”
A spokesperson for Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit tweeted about the incident, saying,
“Car being driven in Peterborough by a 13 yr old boy, also in the car was an unrestrained 2 yr old sitting on mums knee !!!, reply was " It's only a short journey.”
The teenager was stopped by police around 11am on Saturday, and police say they are pursuing “multiple offences” regarding the case.
Car being driven in Peterborough by a 13 yr old boy , also in the car was an unrestrained 2 yr old sitting on mums knee !!!, reply was " It's only a short journey"— BCH Road Policing (@roadpoliceBCH) 24 February 2018
Meanwhile the number of bans and offences related to underage drivers has increased to 1024 in 2016 compared to 696 in 2014. 33 disqualifications were given to children under 13 in 2017 alone. Many of these offences also involve alcohol and drink-driving, with one shocking case in 2011 involving an 11-year-old drink driving in the Thames Valley area.
Another incident in 2005 involved a 13-year-old boy being caught drink driving in Manchester. He was driving a stolen car and travelling at 70mph. During his time behind the wheel he began a police chased, mounted the curb, drove without lights at midnight, nearly hit a pedestrian, drove on the wrong side of the road, and eventually lost control and crashed.
After the boy was sentenced to four months behind bars a district judge said of the case,
“These are exceptional circumstances. The risks he took were just frightening and it is a miracle that no-one was killed or injured during this episode."
“This sentence should go out as a warning to others involved in such behaviour of which there is too much in and around Salford.”
A 13-year-old boy has been caught driving a car in Peterborough with a two-year-old and a woman inside the vehicle. https://t.co/K5qZIlXEuI— BBC Cambridgeshire (@BBCCambs) 25 February 2018
While it seems that a shocking amount of children end up behind the wheel of a car, this particular case in Bedfordshire stands out partly because of the fact that there was an adult, along with a toddler, in the vehicle at the time. It’s not clear exactly what charges are being pursued, but they likely relate to the terrible decision making on behalf of the adult who allowed the ridiculous situation to take place.