67yo unlicensed driver started at 13

IT took him 50 years and five recent attempts at getting his learner’s permit but Magistrate Maxine Baldwin’s persistence paid off when Bill Smith, 67, returned to court with permit in hand and a driving test booked with the Department of Transport.

The Gympie magistrate had adjourned Smith’s matter a number of times after he appeared before her charged with unlicensed driving earlier in the year.

The court learned Smith, 67, had been driving since he was 13-years-old and never held a licence, having spent most of his life droving on properties.

“You’ve been driving 54 years without a licence,” a flabbergasted Mrs Baldwin said. “It’s obvious you can drive...please convert (the learners permit) over and get your licence.”

The court heard that Smith had only been caught a couple of times for driving unlicensed in the 54 years before he was intercepted twice in the same day on February 3 by police from the Gympie District Traffic Branch. He was caught on the corner of John Street and Mount Pleasant Road while coming and going to his home in Graham Street.

When asked if he would like the matter adjourned again until after he got his licence, Smith said he had been to court enough already.

“I went five times (to get the permit) and got it on the fifth time...I’ve been here a lot of times Your Honour,” he said.

William Edward Smith was fined $200.

Gympie Times

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