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Parents who let boy drive moped illegally have consented to use that exceeds their permission

The Defendant 14 year old severely injured a passenger when he collided with a motor vehicle while illegally driving his moped on a sidewalk.  His parents allowed him to operate the moped illegally, but claimed that he did not have consent to use it on this occasion.  The Court noted that under existing Michigan law, merely exceeding the restrictions on use of a vehicle does not abrogate the original consent.  Relying in part on statutory presumptions, the court held that when a kid has access to the keys and a right of use, he has "consent", even if he doesn't follow the owners' instructions.

The Court also rejected the Defendant's claim that the young driver should only be responsible if the injured passenger proved "reckless misconduct", arguing that the legal standard the court has applied to recreational activities should apply.  The Court of Appeal summarily rejected this argument, noting that the reckless standard applies at-most to organized team sports and individual recreational activities and not to violations of the Michigan Vehicle Code.

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