crime

Man stopped over erratic driving hasn’t had license for 40 years

34 Comments

Police in Kitakyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture, on Monday arrested a 72-year-old man on suspicion of violating the Road Traffic Law by driving without a valid license for 40 years.

A police patrol spotted the car driving erratically in Yahatanishi Ward at around 4:15 a.m. Monday, Sankei Shimbun reported. Police asked the driver to pull over and questioned him.

The driver, Yutaka Shigematsu, a construction worker, admitted to police that he had been driving without a valid license since 1978. He was quoted as saying he found it too much of a bother to go through the process of renewing his license.

© Japan Today

©2019 GPlusMedia Inc.

34 Comments
Login to comment

Sure he visits Kobe a lot!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Proof yet again that seizing licenses and or forbidding people from driving will not stop them from doing so

7 ( +9 / -2 )

So what should be done about the Aging population of drivers some of whom have caused death and misery in recent news

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Of course there are many young drivers causing accidents and death too

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Actually, when we have our licenses renewed I'm always amazed at how quickly the huge crowds are processed

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Driving without a licence for 40 years? Doesn't say much for the Japanese traffic police, does it?

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Some told me that in U.S. getting a driver's license is a lot easier and cheaper. Is that correct?

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Maybe his punishment should be to have to sit through all the boring lectures he skipped. I was just about to get a gold license and I go and get two tickets. Curse that obscured no u-turn sign and yield sign hidden within the visual pollution of street full of restaurant signs! The blue license folks have to sit through a 2 hour snoozer. Purposefully designed to be the most boring 2 hours of your life!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

DisillusionedToday  07:12 am JST

Driving without a licence for 40 years? Doesn't say much for the Japanese traffic police, does it?

Doesn't say anything either way. If this man has never caused a traffic accident or infraction to give cause for being stopped and checked, no traffic police in any country would have caught him.

Or do you advocate random spot checks without cause?

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Another selfish elderly driver. 40 years ago the process might have been a bother, too stubborn to and try it. Seize his vehicle and ban him from driving forever, it'll save lives

1 ( +4 / -3 )

just give this guy a bus and tell him to drive strangers for 70-hours a week already!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OssanAmerica - Or do you advocate random spot checks without cause

Considering how frequently people are being arrested in japan (half a dozen a year) for driving without a licence perhaps there is a need for random spot checks. If you calculate that half a dozen a year caught without random checks, there must be many people driving without licenses.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

My licence was renewed had to sit through the two hour farce of comical videos and attached comments. I left with a fascination of pushing my pencil through my eye into my brain. Had I known that nobody checks if I actually had a licence then a career in law inforcemen would be my choice.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@vince black At what age does one become elderly. He was stubborn when he was 32 years old according to the article.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Do the hustleToday  08:50 am JST

OssanAmerica - Or do you advocate random spot checks without cause

Considering how frequently people are being arrested in japan (half a dozen a year) for driving without a licence perhaps there is a need for random spot checks. If you calculate that half a dozen a year caught without random checks, there must be many people driving without licenses.

6 people arrested per year is cause for Random Spot Checks?

The State of California has some 26.7 million drivers, making 5.3 million unlicensed drivers. And they don't do random spot checks.

"More than 1 in 5 California drivers involved in fatal crashes were driving with expired, revoked or suspended licenses or had never even had a license, according to a study released Wednesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety."

0 ( +3 / -3 )

The driver, Yutaka Shigematsu, a construction worker,

"Kanemochi Nippon" people have to work until their backs are bent and can't walk because the pension is so low it can't suffice to pay even rent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Actually, when we have our licenses renewed I'm always amazed at how quickly the huge crowds are processed.

That's been my experience. The process is remarkably efficient compared, for example, to California where I previously held a DL.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Seize his vehicle and ban him from driving forever, it'll save lives

He already was banned in the technical sense from driving since he never had a licence. Did not deter him at all.

What do you mean "save lives". He never killed anyone behind the wheel.
2 ( +3 / -1 )

Or do you advocate random spot checks without cause?

Just to check licenses? No. Random breath testing, at which time a license, vehicle registration and roadworthiness can also be confirmed? Sure, why not?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

RiskyMosaicToday 10:27 am JST

Or do you advocate random spot checks without cause?

Just to check licenses? No. Random breath testing, at which time a license, vehicle registration and roadworthiness can also be confirmed? Sure, why not?

Agree. Don't know anyplace that does random stops to just check licenses. Random DWI checks are already common, although they aren't really "random" in the sense that certain weekends/holidays are targeted. Plus drivers are just passed through without checking license/registration unless there is suspicion of DWI.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Disillusioned Today  07:12 am JST

Driving without a licence for 40 years? Doesn't say much for the Japanese traffic police, does it?

Or it means that he has always driven safely for those 40 years, and the police never saw a reason to stop him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

OssanAmerica

At least where I come from, vehicle registration and a road worthiness certificate are displayed on the windshield, and cops will quickly eyeball them while breath testing. Takes about a second extra. Usually they'll just give you a warning if either is expired. I can't remember if they ask for your license.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do the hustle Today  08:50 am JST

Considering how frequently people are being arrested in japan (half a dozen a year) for driving without a licence perhaps there is a need for random spot checks.

Half a dozen per year is "frequently"?

And no, we don't give the police carte blanche to stop people willy-nilly to make sure they are obeying the law.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Vince Black Today  07:32 am JST

Another selfish elderly driver. 40 years ago the process might have been a bother, too stubborn to and try it.

He was not elderly when he stubbornly refused to renew his license 40 years ago.

He was 32 years old.

Nor was he elderly when he'd reached the 10-year point of license-less driving. He was 42.

He was only 52 when he reached the 20-year point. And so on.

So let's not use this as an excuse to bash older drivers.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Just to check licenses? No. Random breath testing, at which time a license, vehicle registration and roadworthiness can also be confirmed? Sure, why not?

I'd be in favor of that too. Other countries do random breath testing which can involve blocking off entire streets for this purpose. Even then, pre-screening of motorists only takes about 5 seconds when talking into a breath tester. If it gets the drunks off the road and only stops you for less than a minute . . . . why not?

A more modern method of screening is to use a camera in the police car to read the licence plate information of other vehicles as they are passing. The police in the vehicle are then immediately alerted when the camera/database confirms that the target vehicle has expired registration, shaken, stolen plates etc etc or is wanted for any other reason (i.e. associated with disqualified drivers, criminals, habitual drunk drivers). Hundreds of cars an hour can be processed using this system with only those vehicles of interest being stopped.

Most law abiding drivers drivers would never be stopped at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So let's not use this as an excuse to bash older drivers.

He got caught at 72, an older driver. Proving that older drivers do not drive as well whether they have a license or not.

Lets not forget driving without a license is illegal, many people lose their jobs for doing this in Japan. Driving when you are 72 is not illegal but should be due to the carnage that old people create on the roads. And it will only get worse. Lots of kids are going to get run over by old drivers unless the they old drivers are taken off the road or throughly tested for mental and physical competence in order to get a license.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

So I guess in the beginning he took a test and had a license but then never renewed it so is that such a major crime?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OssanAmerica - Agree. Don't know anyplace that does random stops to just check licenses. Random DWI checks are already common, although they aren't really "random" in the sense that certain weekends/holidays are targeted. Plus drivers are just passed through withoutchecking license/registration unless there is suspicion of DWI.

Oh, well, there you have it folks. OssanAmerica does not know of any place that has random checks for licenses. Therefore, it must be a myth. I guess he hasn’t spent much time in any other place than his own state in O’america. Police in Australia can and do stop cars without any probable cause to check licenses and give random drug and alcohol tests. That’s why it’s called ‘random’, you know? America is not everywhere.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

No issue here for drink driving check points and license spot checks if there is cause to think they aren't licensed, driving is a privilege not a right. (even though it means I personally would more likely be asked for more information...)

40 years without a valid license.. though how is that even possible?

I thought you had to show one when you buy a car or get a registered parking spot.

40 years without once renting a car?

What does he do for ID? Probably doesn't have a "my number" card either.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Of course there are many young drivers causing accidents and death too

unfortunately young driver can only become more skilled or experienced by driving, most elderly there isn't room for improvement as their mental dexterity /reflexes fade with age

0 ( +0 / -0 )

and license spot checks if there is cause to think they aren't licensed,

OK, but what does that 'cause' look like? Seems like an officer could just make up any old thing. In this case the driver was being erratic at 4 am, but that probably points to a driver being intoxicated, rather than unlicensed.

I appreciate the job that the police do, but I think I'd be pretty annoyed if one told me they'd pulled me over simply because they thought I "looked" unlicensed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

With facial recognition systems, and a link to the license database, it should be possible to automatically check for unlicensed drivers. That could even be extended to identify infrequent/inexperienced drivers – based upon their low rate of identification.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

With facial recognition systems, and a link to the license database, it should be possible to automatically check for unlicensed drivers

How? Being unlicensed would mean they aren’t in the system to be able to do facial recognition. And facial recognition technology is not good enough to be able to say ‘this person definitely isn’t in the system’. It can only say ‘we found this person whom it may or may not be’.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do the hustleMay 21  02:20 pm JST

*OssanAmerica - Agree. Don't know anyplace that does random stops to just check licenses. Random DWI checks are already common, although they aren't really "random" in the sense that certain weekends/holidays are targeted. Plus drivers are just passed through withoutchecking license/registration unless there is suspicion of DWI.*

Oh, well, there you have it folks. OssanAmerica does not know of any place that has random checks for licenses. Therefore, it must be a myth. I guess he hasn’t spent much time in any other place than his own state in O’america. Police in Australia can and do stop cars without any probable cause to check licenses and give random drug and alcohol tests. 

If true, you folks down under really need to reconsider your status as a "democracy". Don't you have any rights activists down there? And your Police departments need to do a serious cost efficiency analysis. Or is crime so low in Australia that the cops have that much time on their hands?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites