A man is facing charges of reckless driving after posting footage on social media of his dog appearing to steer his car in downtown Jerusalem. Read on to find out what happened next, how social media reacted, and where in the world dogs have actually been taught how to drive.
Viral Video Attracts Police Attention
The video went viral on Israeli WhatsApp groups on Monday, drawing the interest of Israel's Central Traffic Unit. Ynetnews reports the man was questioned by Jerusalem Police. The 35-year-old resident of Ein Naqquba "endangered other road users with his wrongful actions, but was also driving a car without a valid vehicle inspection test," police said. Keep reading to see the video.
The man is expected to face reckless driving charges. "The suspect behaved in a reckless and improper manner when he let his dog hold onto the steering wheel, thereby endangering road users," the police said. "He then went on to share footage of the dangerous act which reached the police. Whoever does such things is playing with human lives. We will continue to work to enforce and prosecute serious traffic violations."
Social Media Responds
Reddit commenters had a bit of fun with the incident. "Oh no! He's going to get a barking ticket!" said one. "To be fair if I knew my dog could drive a car I couldn't resist either," said another. "Recording it and uploading to social media, not so much." "Things were going pretty well until a squirrel ran across the road," said another.
Dogs Actually Taught to Drive Down Under
As it turns out, in New Zealand, three dogs were actually taught to drive a car in 2012. The pooches underwent three months of intensive training, in which they were taught to sit behind the wheel and steer. Over a period of several weeks, the dogs progressed from go-carts to actual autos, where they ultimately could accelerate and brake. It was the work of an animal charity, which aimed to prove how intelligent rescue dogs can be and encourage their adoption.
"You Can Teach An Old Dog New Tricks"
"Driving a car actively demonstrates to potential rescue dog adopters that you can teach an old dog new tricks," SPCA Auckland CEO Christine Kalin told the New Zealand Herald. "The dogs have achieved amazing things in eight short weeks of training, which really shows with the right environment just how much potential all dogs from the SPCA have as family pets." "Monty, Porter and Ginny are great dogs each with their own distinct personality," said their trainer. "You wouldn't believe any dog could learn to drive a car on its own and the way all three SPCA rescue dogs have taken to training really does prove that intelligent creatures adapt to the situation they're in. It really is remarkable."