Edoardo's Driving Experience

Youngest boy to get their driver's licence…

At the tender age of just 4 years old in 1961, Edoardo's parents bought him a self peddle go- kart; they also bought him a little outfit and of course a safety helmet.
He was always climbing and wanted to see what different objects were about and this came with much danger as the communication was limited due to his Deafness. But this never stopped Edoardo from doing whatever he wanted, being Deaf would not stop him. He was like an eel.
He loved his first car, it gave him a sense of freedom. Something he could do independently without anyone invading his space. This he had full control over. As he peddled calmly he would just cruise along the sidewalk. If he wanted to go faster, then his little feet would pedal as fast as his legs could bear. The communication between Edoardo and his family was limited due to him being Deaf, but they tried to communicate the best they could, with a restricted amount of lip reading, facial expressions, gestures and body language. A lot of this was guess work, due to Edoardo's age.
On the day Edoardo was given this car, his mother said that he was to use this solely for the sidewalk where she could keep an eye on him from their 6th floor flat. This much information Edoardo had understood, so he started to drive his very first car along the sidewalk of where they lived in Milan. The flats were situated on a sidewalk full of shops and local residents going about their daily activities. Whilst Edoardo was peddling back and forth on the sidewalk Edoardo's mother could freely look over her balcony and watch young Edoardo, well that was the plan. But there was a problem. In fact there were many problems. Firstly, there were people everywhere. The older community out getting their groceries, people out window shopping, people out buying from local shops. This was hard for a young boy to ride a go kart back and forth along the sidewalk as people were getting his way. Secondly the go-kart didn't have a hooter,
so to let people aware of his presence he would shout that mimicked a hooter sound and use arm gestures to notify people to move out of the way. Edoardo would go along the sidewalk minding his own business. He would pedal cautiously behind the pedestrians. But there was always someone in the way. This left only one option and that was to ride around these people with great difficulty. The ground was very uneven and rough which made steering heavy work for the young boy. The pedals would also become stuck and this added to his frustration because of the uneven ground. This often made people mad and would shout at him and make gestures referring to a local children's area for him to play. But Edoardo didn't care what people thought, this was outside his home, his sidewalk, his car and his freedom.
But he had had enough of not being able to ride freely, people getting his way, shouting, hes little arms aching due to steering around people, the pedals kept getting stuck due to the ground and then the penny dropped! Cars belong on the anevue not the sidewalk. That is why he was becoming frustrated with pedestrians getting in his way.
Off he went, this confident inquisitive little boy to the sidewalk . He managed to ride the car down the curb, waited for a big enough space and then off he went pedaling as fast as he could to keep up with the traffic.
This was amazing. What a wonderful feeling. Freedom!! No one getting in the way, the crawling behind old lady's carrying their shopping home looked like it was now a thing of the past. There were cars flashing their lights at him, he was happy. Look at me, I am driving, I can do anything. I am equal. I can drive, this feels brilliant. Edoardo managed to drive his peddle car along the avenue for roughly 6 kilometres.
In the meantime, Edoardos mother was worried out of her life. She came out on her balcony and couldn't see him anywhere, Her eyes were frantically covering every part of the sidewalk but she couldn't see him. She ran down the six flights of stairs whilst her heart was beating frantically.
She couldn't see him. Where was her baby? Had someone taken him? Is he hurt? He is Deaf how is he going to tell people where he lived? He is only 4 years old. All these thoughts were running through her mind. She had no choice other than to call the police and report young Edoardo missing. The police found Edoardo, casually riding along in his little car amongst the traffic enjoying his freedom. With the biggest smile upon his face The time of day this happened was a quiet time and there weren't many cars on the road. The police brought home both Edoardo and his go-kart back safely. He was reunited with his family and it was made clear he was to never ride along the Avenue again.
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