Photo: Pakutaso
crime

82-year-old man arrested for driving without license, says he had one 60 years ago

27 Comments
By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

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 He used to have one, though, as he told the officer “My license was revoked around the time I was 20, and I haven’t gotten a new one since.”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 On one hand, his license having been revoked suggests that, back when he had a license, he drove in a very reckless manner.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the fact that we’re just finding out now about his lack of license suggests that in the 60-some years since his license was revoked, he’s been driving carefully enough that he seemingly hasn’t gotten a single ticket or been in an accident in all the time since he legally lost his driving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

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- 69-year-old Tokyo man arrested for driving without a license for over 50 years

-- Fukuoka woman drives through front of convenience store because she really needed to pee

-- Japanese netizens react to other countries’ harsh punishments for drunk driving

© SoraNews24

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

27 Comments
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at least wear a seat belt

Good advice!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

At 82 better not drive anymore. Shiso is a very countryside place.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

99.9% of accidents are caused by licensed drivers.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

And who sold him the car? How did he come to get the use of one? Showing a license is a requirement to purchase one.

Just because he is in his 80's doesnt mean he doesnt remember. He knows damn well why he lost his license, and was inconvenienced by not having one. He was lucky all these years.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

spotted a motorist driving a kei car, Japan’s class of ultra-compact cars, who wasn’t wearing a seatbelt

If only he used seatbealt.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

How do you get insurance without a license?

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Was he really arrested? In Canada you might get a fine, but not arrested. In Japan they seem to use the term arrested for everything.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

runner3

How do you get insurance without a license?

They don't require proof. On the form, they only ask what class and color license you have. No other info required, such as the license ID#. I found it strange that something so important is left up to the honor system. (That is, until you have an accident, and it's discovered you don't have a license. Then, you're SOL.)

Yubaru

And who sold him the car? How did he come to get the use of one? Showing a license is a requirement to purchase one.

I'm not so sure about that. I don't remember them asking for either car we've purchased here. They do really make a fuss about having a parking space, though. That seemed to be the primary legal requirement for owning a motor vehicle.

After all, owning a car does not necessarily mean you will be driving that car. they are two separate things. You may be a parent buying a car for your offspring. Or, perhaps you are a small business owner buying it to use for deliveries by your employees. There could be many reasons a vehicle owner may not have a driver's license.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

runner3

Was he really arrested? In Canada you might get a fine, but not arrested.

In many parts of the US, you may be arrested. And, your vehicle may be impounded. It's almost certain they won't be letting you drive home.

In Japan they seem to use the term arrested for everything.

Or, perhaps, in the specific news stories you've read where they used that term, they were actually arrested.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

YubaruToday  07:29 am JST

And who sold him the car? How did he come to get the use of one? Showing a license is a requirement to purchase one.

I never had to show a license to buy cars in Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

They don't automatically take your car in the US. There are people here doing the same thing. The license system is more to make money and to keep poor people from being able to travel. People that live in the country in TX drive on their own property for years. some before they even got out of school. At his age they should just test him and make him pay a fine he can actually afford. We have people that have no license buying cars in TX. It used to be anything under 50CC required no license. Now they want you to have a class C. You only get a class M for motorcycles when you go beyond 50cc and the cost and time requirement to do safety courses is more than what most poor people can handle.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I have no time for people who don’t wear seat belts. I rate then below mildly drunk drivers. I have never been injured in a car accident wearing a seat belt.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

The license system is more to make money and to keep poor people from being able to travel.

Sorry, but that's one of the dumbest things I've ever read on here. No offense.

A poor person probably wouldn't be able to buy a car anyway. Not sure if you know this, but it's more expensive to buy a car than to get a driver's license. A lot more.

And what possible reason or motive would the government have to keep poor people from being able to travel?

Wouldn't it actually be better for the government to allow poor people to travel, to increase their chances of getting a job -- thereby eliminating the need for the government to pay out money to take care of them?

We have people that have no license buying cars in TX. 

Thank you for proving my earlier point. If they can buy a car, they can get a driver's license.

Even a very used car would cost several thousand dollars; the driver's license fee in your home state of Texas (according to a quick Google search) is $16 if you're under 18 and $33 if you're 18 or older.

I'm no math wizard, but I do think $33 is a lot less than several thousand.

So, it's idiotic to think that requiring driver's licenses is a way to "keep poor people from traveling." They'd charge thousands of dollars for a driver's license, or hundreds at least, if that's what they were really doing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I bet he drives better than most drivers I see on the roads.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Must be VERY good driver, 60 years is not chump change!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Passed driving exam first time here, entire process cost me less than 10K Yen...who cares right?!

Sat there listening to all these foreigners complain that they were taking test for more than TENTH time in many cases, just joking around, having a laugh.

Decided not to join, rather spent my time walking the driving course while they chatted away...and naturally they failed again. None of them seemed to be aware that the people running the show were watching closely.

Driving's SERIOUS responsibility

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Crazy, how do these people get their cars repaired or even buy one without a license. Seems like there’s a lot of failed processes in the steps to get a car and license

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

One must note. driver's 'inkan' era's over, Japan's finally gone digital, after kicking and screaming for decades about there being NO JAPANESE SOFTWARE.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Gotta love Sora News!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

GillislowTier

Crazy, how do these people get their cars repaired or even buy one without a license.

It has already been established in a few posts that you do not need a license to purchase a car.

And, why would anyone need a license to have their car repaired?

Seems like there’s a lot of failed processes in the steps to get a car and license

No. Buying a car doesn't require a license, because owning a car and driving a car are two separate things.

And, getting a license in Japan is actually quite difficult, at least compared to the three US states where I've gotten licenses in the US. The picayune nonsense that the inspectors look for in the Japan driving test is absolutely ridiculous. I passed on my first attempt, as Clay did above. But, about 80% in my test group failed.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And, getting a license in Japan is actually quite difficult, at least compared to the three US states where I've gotten licenses in the US. The picayune nonsense that the inspectors look for in the Japan driving test is absolutely ridiculous. I passed on my first attempt, as Clay did above. But, about 80% in my test group failed.

For many foreigners it’s an extremely simple task if they already posses a license in their own country. Just need eye sight test and listen to a lesson you don’t even need to understand.

Americans are required to go through the Japanese driving test though.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

What did the guy use for ID all those years? Many of us in this forum can use our Alien cards, but I still use my driver's license sometimes for that.

As for the test, I was surprised how easy it was, probably because I had a license already from the US. Just 10 questions. I sure sweated the driving part, though, but when I finished it seemed even easier than the written part. Still, two out of the 3 of us in the car failed the test.

I didn't know we could walk the course as Clay mentioned. Seems like a good idea. I remember standing at the waiting room window watching the course and trying to memorize it as others were driving.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Another proof that old people should be prohibited from driving cars. They shouldn't even be allowed to purchase one. Leave driving to young people, damn.

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

Americans are required to go through the Japanese driving test though.

That's good. When in Rome, do as the Romans do.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

WeiWei

For many foreigners it’s an extremely simple task if they already posses a license in their own country. Just need eye sight test and listen to a lesson you don’t even need to understand.

True. Western Europe, Scandinavia, some of Eastern Europe, Oceana, and free Asian countries are excluded from that nonsense.

Americans are required to go through the Japanese driving test though.

Not all Americans. License holders from the states of Hawaii, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia, Washington, and Indiana don't need to take the driving test. I imagine there is some kind of reciprocity between Japan and those states.

Unfortunately, my current US license is from California. (Or, fortunately, as I was living in California.) So, I had to take the meticulous driving test, in addition to a very easy 10-question written test, and a ridiculously thorough interview, which bordered on bizarre.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Time to offer an Amnesty to Elderly drivers without licenses - free Licenses without penalty, plus a bonus of a money voucher to spend locally.

There are some really good Elderly drivers out there, and some really bad new comer hot-head racer kids - the former tend to get more public attention due to their ... age, whilst the latter appears to be an accepted Norm.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

TokyoOldMan

Time to offer an Amnesty to Elderly drivers without licenses - free Licenses without penalty, plus a bonus of a money voucher to spend locally.

Of course, they should still have to pass written, driving, eye, and acuity, as any senior applying for a new license should before being issued a license.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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