Parents have long fought a losing battle to stop their kids from playing video games for too long, but sometimes the carrot is more effective than the stick. It appears a set of parents in the UK subscribed to that thinking, having allowed their 11-year-old boy to drive their car—a way of stopping him from playing GTA all day, apparently.
Police in the Lancaster town of Blackpool stropped a red Vauxhall Astra in a car park in the town center, discovering the minor behind the wheel.
“The driver of this car was 11-years-old. Yes, eleven,” tweeted Lancaster Road Police. “A family member was fed up with the child playing Grand Theft Auto all day on the Playstation, so brought him out to practice driving on a car park in Blackpool… The adult has been reported for traffic offences.”
A recent survey showed that while 86 percent of parents say their kids play games an excessive amount, three-quarters believe gaming has a positive impact on their children.
The other questionable part of this situation is that GTA V has a PEGI rating of 18+, so it’s not the most suitable game for an eleven-year-old, but studies have shown that most parents don’t pay attention to titles’ age ratings—as anyone who’s played the multiplayer element of CoD or GTA V can attest.
In the UK, it’s possible to apply for a provisional driving license when aged 15 years and nine months, with the legal driving age being 17. There are some exceptions where a driver can be 16, and those under 17 can learn to drive with qualified instructors on private land.