Maybe he just hadn’t had enough time to get a new one yet.

On Monday morning, at about 11:45 a.m., an officer from the Hyogo Prefectural Police was out on patrol in the town of Shiso. While driving around the city’s Yamazakicho neighborhood, he spotted a motorist driving a kei car, Japan’s class of ultra-compact cars, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

The officer pulled the car over, and the driver identified himself as Toshiyuki Ishibashi, a resident of Himeji. But while it’s standard procedure for the police to ask to see your driver’s license during a traffic stop, Ishibashi was unable to show his, since he doesn’t have a license. He used to have one, though, as he told the officer “My license was revoked around the time I was 20, and I haven’t gotten a new one since.”

It might seem strange that Ishibashi can’t remember something as significant as when his license was taken away. But hey, you have to give the guy some slack for not remembering all the nitty gritty details, since it happened around 60 years ago.

Yes, Ishibashi is now 82 years old, and has apparently been driving around license-less for the past six decades. When the officer who pulled Ishibashi’s car over learned that he was operating it on public roads without a license, he placed the octogenarian scofflaw under arrest on the spot.

While what Ishibashi did was unquestionably illegal, it’s hard to say how much of a danger he actually really posed to others. On one hand, his license having been revoked suggests that, back when he had a license, he drove in a very reckless manner. On the other hand, the fact that we’re just finding out now about his lack of license suggests that in the 60-someodd years since his license was revoked, he’s been driving carefully enough that he seemingly hasn’t gotten a single ticket or been in an accident in all the time since he legally lost his driving privileges.

Still, operating a vehicle on public streets is too potentially dangerous an activity for it to be allowed without official testing and certification. So remember, kids, and senior citizens too: Getting a driver’s license in Japan is a pain, but it’s just something you’ve got to suck up and do. And if you really can’t be bothered to get yours, at least wear a seat belt.

Source: The Sankei News via Hachima Kiko
Top image: Pakutaso
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