Sunday, 7 October 2007

It Has Come to This?

Boy, 11, in 100mph police chase
An 11-year-old boy and his parents have been arrested after he fled Louisiana police in a car chase at speeds of more than 100mph (160km/h), it is reported.

The child's mother and father have been accused of letting him drive for about six months, the Associated Press said.

The pursuit began when a patrol car spotted the boy's car speeding on Interstate 310 near New Orleans.

Police gave chase but the car sped away, only stopping at a Burger King restaurant where his mother worked.

The boy had been driving home from a hospital where he had dropped off his disabled father for an appointment when the chase began, police told AP.

His parents have been charged with the improper supervision of a minor and allowing an unlicensed minor to drive - something authorities said had been going on for six months.

The boy was reportedly released to the custody of an aunt after being arrested for fleeing from an officer, reckless driving, speeding, passing on the shoulder, improper lane usage and having no driver's licence.

Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2007/10/06 23:16:34 GMT


An 11-year-old boy on a high-speed chase. That's what the BBC and International news stations deem newsworthy. Does anyone else see the real story here?
Here, this kid's got a disabled father and a mother who works her ass off at Burger King in order to help pay Dad's insurance so that he can get the treatment he needs. Meanwhile, this poor mother, who probably works 70 hours per week at that hellhole, needs to be able to get Dad to his appointments. Her friends all work, she obviously can't hire a caretaker, the public transportation in Louisiana sucks or at least is not wheelchair accessible, and all she has is this loyal little kid. She knows that teaching him to drive is against the law, but at this point she has no other alternative.
Consider this situation for a moment. True, this family probably made some unwise decisions when it came to the law and perhaps the safety of their child, but I'm certain that this is not the only family that faces this type of situation. What does a low income family do when one parent falls ill and insurance and medication are so high? How can they survive? And with the dollar failing, everything seems more expensive.
As for transportation, forget about it. Most U.S. cities are built to rely on cars only. Many don't even have sidewalks for pedestrians. Gas is so pricey it's forced many low income people to give up much of their driving time. Buses are usually run down and smelly and often drop people off in strange or hazardous places, like on the side of a major highway with no sidewalk. That's of course, if the buses run in a person's area.
As a woman who used the St. Louis, Missouri public transportation system as often as possible, I experienced disconcerting sexual harassment on a daily basis from other passengers. A friend of mine witnessed a person masturbating across from her on the train. Metrolink staff did nothing. Does this sort of apathy make a person want to use public transportation in the first place?
The United States is not a country that allows its lower income inhabitants to survive. Yet, the number of them is increasing. I suspect that we will see more desperation like the acts detailed in the article come about in the near future. Eventually, one would hope that these people would gain a collective voice against the government and the war, but we'll see. Without a voice, the people will continue to fall and the future looks grim.

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