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August 6, 2009

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Dad sorry for letting 7-year-old drive car

A QUEBEC father who posted a YouTube video of his seven-year-old son driving the family car now says he regrets letting his little boy get behind the wheel.

In the video, the dad rides in the front passenger seat with his camera in hand and proudly delivers play-by-play as his son Samuel cruises down a country road.

The video has been widely seen throughout Canada, and Quebec provincial police have opened an investigation.

Sylvain declined to give his last name in an interview with new channel LCN. He said he erred but didn't deserve so much harsh criticism.

"I regret it all. It was a bad decision on my part, but come on," he said.

Police were also alarmed that none of the vehicle's four occupants seen on camera - including the seven-year-old - appeared to be wearing a seatbelt as the sport utility vehicle traveled through a forest in Quebec's North Shore region. A little girl is seen sitting on a woman's lap in the back seat.

At one point in the video, Sylvain boasts that his son has hit 70 kilometers per hour.

But on Tuesday, the father, who lives in the Lanaudiere town of St-Lin-Laurentides, indicated the boy never exceeded 40km/h.

Sylvain said he taught his son how to drive and felt his family was safe on a dirt road that he says didn't have any other cars on it. He said footage of little Samuel cruising down a back country road was shot two years ago.

In the video, Samuel appears comfortable in the driver's seat, gripping the wheel with both hands while gnashing down on gum.

"I had confidence in him," he said. "I posted it (online) because I was proud of my little guy because he was able to drive a car."


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