12-year-old arrested in attempt to drive across Australia
A 12-year-old boy has been arrested by police in Australia last week for attempting to drive across the giant island continent.
The boy had driven nearly 1,300 kilometres, one-third of the way through an attempt to drive his family’s car across Australia before being stopped by police.
The unlicensed boy had driven more than 800 miles from his home in Kendall on the country’s eastern coast when he was stopped by traffic cops.
His goal was to make it to the west coast city of Perth before he was pulled over near the remote outback mining town of Broken Hill.
The boy didn’t draw too much attention to himself in his illegal journey because he appears older than his age so no suspicions were raised there by other road users.
He was only pulled over by the police because his bumper was trailing behind the car. Police said the boy may have been involved in an accident because the bumper bar was dragging along the road.
The distance between Kendall and Perth is more than 4,100km.
The boy got up to some other shenanigans while on the continental joyride. Vamshi Reddy who is the manager of a petrol station where the boy stopped for fuel and left without paying said he was "shocked" to hear he was only 12.
"When I saw him, he looked like a nice person who was maybe 19 or 20"
Detective Inspector Kim Fehon told the Australian Associated Press that the boy’s parents had reported him missing immediately after he left home at 11:10 am on Friday.
She said the boy had not only put his own life at risk but also the lives of other road users.
“He was lucky he had an escape [after the accident],” she said. “But so did all the motorists on the way from Kendall to Cobar. They all had a lucky day as well.”
The boy was arrested and held at Broken Hill Police Station to wait the arrival of his parents.
There are no details about why the boy wanted to drive to Perth. Officials are also silent on whether he is to be charged with any crime.
It is likely he will face charges under the Young Offenders Act over three offences – including failure to pay for petrol and driving without a licence.