A man and a woman were arrested on Friday after they shared a video showing their six-year-old daughter driving a vehicle. In the clip, they can be heard praising her for being a skillful driver.
The viral video was shot by the girl’s father, identified by his surname Yu, while the family drove along on a narrow country road in Chongyang County, in central China’s Hubei Province.
In the video, the little girl can be seen turning the steering wheel and stretching to try and get a clear look at the road ahead. Her dad, sitting beside her, recorded his daughter on his phone and can be heard telling the girl to keep going.
“Now that you’ve nailed driving on this narrow road, you can totally drive on the highway,” the father says in the video. “You are rather good!”
The girl hesitated as they approached a rotten bridge and asked her dad to take over.
“You can do this. Just drive slowly,” the father said casually.
The mother, surnamed Ge, was sitting in the back and can be heard encouraging the girl later in the video. “You can even drive over a rotten bridge!”
Yu later sent the video to his relatives via WeChat, a popular social media and messaging app in China. The clip was then shared on other Chinese social media platforms, drawing wide criticism and catching the attention of the local police.
The girls’ father confessed to the police that because there wasn't anybody else on the road at that time, he neglected road safety and made the video of his daughter driving. “I just wanted to brag to my relatives,” Yu said.
“Now I’ve realized my actions have had a very negative impact. We should definitely focus on the safety of our children and other people.”
Because the girl’s mother gave up her driver’s seat for her daughter, she was fined 2,000 yuan (290 US dollars) and also had her driver’s license revoked on the charge of permitting someone underage to drive.
According to the laws and regulations of transport in China, only adults aged over 18 are eligible to apply for and hold a driver's license.