Behind the wheel at 103: How a sprightly senior citizen challenges Italy’s traffic rules

Published On: 21.March.2024Categories: Legal2 min read
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Christina Schröder writes about legal topics for the Love & Law Blog at Recht 24/7.

In a small Italian town, a story is causing a stir that proves that the urge for independence and mobility knows no age limit. A 103-year-old lady, Giuseppina Molinari – affectionately known as Giose – was recently stopped by the police because she was driving without a valid license. Her car was also uninsured. But instead of admitting defeat, the fun-loving senior citizen is already planning her next coup: switching to a Vespa!

When the driver’s license expires, but not the courage to face life

Giose wasn’t just driving without a license; her license had been expired for two years. In Italy, drivers over 80 have to undergo a medical examination every two years to renew their driving license – a regulation that is also being discussed at EU level. The police in Bondeno were probably amazed when they stopped Giose. At 103 years old, she is probably the oldest traffic offender far and wide. But what was driving her through the streets of her home town in the middle of the night?

A night-time excursion with consequences

It was one of those nights when Giose decided to visit her friends in Bondeno – knowing full well that she was driving without a valid license and insurance cover. However, the police, alerted by her conspicuous driving, had other plans and confiscated her car. A fine was imposed and the officers escorted the intrepid lady home.

Freedom on two wheels

But anyone who thinks this is the end of the road for Giose is mistaken. Undeterred by her age and the legal hurdles, she announced her intention to get a Vespa or a scooter. Until then, the bike will be her faithful companion. “I want to maintain my network of friendships and fulfill my obligations independently,” Giose told the television station Rai.

This remarkable story from Italy shows that the desire for mobility and independence is not a question of age. However, it also raises important questions: How far can and should we go to maintain our independence in old age? And what role do traffic rules and road safety play in this? What is certain is that Giose, the sprightly traffic offender, teaches us all something about the courage to face life and the importance of freedom and friendship.

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