BEIJING – China has welcomed millions of eager new drivers onto its increasingly congested roads in the last few years.
None appear as young as this young whippersnapper.
Ever-popular China blog, Shanghaiist, pointed us toward this disturbing video of what appears to be a young girl around the age of 4 or 5 casually driving a small sedan down the streets of a Chinese city.
Even more surprising though is the fact that she is apparently accompanied by two adults – presumably her parents – who encourage her as she navigates early morning traffic (the clock at one point shows 7:00 a.m.).
“Drive safely,” says the woman holding the camera at the beginning of the clip to the young girl as she starts down the street, her head barely reaching over the wheel. Later, about 40 seconds in to the video clip, the young girl brightly notes that the “flowers are starting to bloom” as she passes a large SUV before a man in the back reminds her again to drive carefully and pay attention to the road.
Later about 1:05 into the clip, the bubbly girl actually makes a fairly deft pass around a car in front of them that is waiting at a stoplight to make a left turn.
The question of how this young girl’s legs were able to reach the gas and brake pedals is answered at the end of the clip when the girl stops the car and a man comes around and appears to remove some sort of extension pedals from beneath the driver’s area.
Understandably, the video created instant outrage among netizens in China. “We need to prosecute this little girl’s parents for endangering public safety!” called out one user of the popular Chinese video site, Youku. Another called upon the now legendary searching prowess of Chinese web users – known colloquially as the “human flesh search engine” – to be employed to search for the parents, saying “I demand a human flesh search! Punish these brain damaged parents!”
However, some users were impressed with her adept driving skills and her coolness on the road, a trait not always apparent on China’s modern roadways. “Her driving skills are good and it seems that she likes driving,” said another user before continuing, “maybe in the future she can keep learning about driving a car, but now this is very unsafe and way irresponsible.”
Our sentiments exactly.