Who hasn't been the parent or the kid in this scenario? You're slowly driving down your driveway and then, to satiate your child's endless fascination with the car, plop said child on your lap and let her grab onto the steering wheel. You slowly press on the gas while you grasp your child's hands and let her steer the car into the garage. You go so slowly that a snail or two passed by. Well, this sweet memory actually turned into an arrest for one family. Though the circumstances surrounding this New Jersey grandma are quite different, she's still facing child abuse charges for letting a 3-year-old steer her car. Because this child managed to cause an accident!
Apparently Volanda Cousar was visiting Orlando, Florida, and allowed her 3-year-old grandson to take the wheel of her sedan in a parking lot. The car hit one vehicle head-on and another while backing up.
According to reports, the 3-year-old was sitting (some say standing) on his grandmother's lap to steer while she was working the pedals. After they crashed head-on into a parked car, when they went to reverse, they bumped straight into another one.
"He was in the front seat of her car. He was sitting in her lap. Her hands were not (on the wheel)," said a witness.
"I asked her, 'What are you thinking?'" he added. He said he then approached Cousar so she wouldn't get away and called the police. She was arrested and charged with child abuse and careless driving. After posting a $2,000 bond, she's now free. The boy was brought back to his mother.
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Thank goodness no one was hurt. And though it's hard to say whether the boy was steering while the car was in reverse, after he got into that first accident, it was time for grandma to take the wheel to try and avoid the second one!
It's one thing to have a fun moment in the driveway or on an empty street (even an empty lot would have been fine!) with a young kid pretending to be an adult. It's definitely another when you're in a lot in public with a bunch of other cars around. And with a 3-year-old, you need to put your hands on his should he ever take the wheel in case things go awry! A child that young is not supposed to be navigating a 4,000-pound vehicle on his own. I'm well aware how easy it is for grandparents to give in to their adorable grandkids' requests, but come on. Common sense and safety should prevail above all.
Here's more on the story:
Is charging this grandmother with child abuse too harsh?
Image via Orlando police