Surveillance cameras and a cellphone video showed a father guiding his 3-year-old son to drive a large construction vehicle on a public road in China’s Lishui City on April 19. The father was later detained, and luckily no one was injured, nor any property damaged, according to multiple Chinese news sources.
According to local police, the father had already taught his son how to operate the machines, and gave in to his son’s request to drive one. The boy drove a construction vehicle about 330 feet (100 meters), for a total of 15 minutes.
The man, named Zhu, 46, owns a business which sells excavators in Zhejiang Province, China. His son, given the false-name Ming, is often around the heavy machinery, and is quite interested in the vehicles.
“He’s able to operate it, I thought that if I stood next to and watched over him, it wouldn’t be a problem,” Zhu said, according to the Qianjiang Evening News.
Both witnesses and police commented on the danger of the father’s decision.
Ming ‘Digs’ Machinery
At around 6 a.m. in the morning on April 19, Zhu arrived at his workplace with his son. Ming had reportedly begged his father to let him try driving one of the excavators, according to the Qianjiang Evening News.
Zhu can be seen on the cellphone footage as he guides his son to pull the machine out of a driveway onto a street. Oncoming traffic pulls around them, and Zhu is seen giving instructions as he walks alongside.
Over the entire journey, Ming drove slowly at about one quarter-of-a-mile per hour.
“At that time, there were a lot of people on the sidewalks and cars on the road,” said a female eyewitness, named Yang, to the Qianjiang Evening News. “Even though there was an adult following along, it’s so dangerous for such a small child to drive an excavator!”
“This is something I’ve never seen in this lifetime,” Yang added.
Yang recorded footage of the child driving the machinery, and reported it to the police.
Zhu even guided Ming to drive the excavator on the opposite side of the road.
People on the street reportedly told Zhu to make his son stop, for everyone’s safety. At first, Zhu ignored their pleas, but eventually he listened and agreed.
“I was stunned at that time, this is too dangerous!” a male eyewitness, named Ying, told the Qianjiang Evening News. “The kid turned it off quickly and smoothly, like an experienced driver.”
After police arrived, they took Zhu to the local police station. He admitted that it was his son driving the car, according to the Qianjiang Evening News. Zhu was detained for three days for disturbing the peace.