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103-year-old Italian woman fined for driving with expired licence

ROME – A 103-year-old Italian woman with an expired driving licence was busted by the police while popping over to see friends at night in an uninsured car.

It was 1am (8am Singapore time) when the police received a call about a vehicle driving dangerously in the centre of Bondeno, a town of 13,000 inhabitants near Ferrara, they said in a statement received by Agence France-Presse on March 14.

The officers in the patrol car dispatched to the scene in the northern Emilia Romagna region were “greatly surprised when they discovered the year of the driver’s birth”, the police said.

Ms Giuseppina Molinari, known as Giose, was born in 1920, “so is 103 years old but still capable of getting into a car and driving to Bondeno to meet friends”, police said.

She had “probably” got disorientated in the dark and lost her way, police said.

Ms Molinari’s licence had expired two years previously. In Italy, drivers over 80 must undergo a medical exam every two years to renew their permits.

The centenarian was fined and then taken home by police.

But she has not resigned herself to staying at home.

“I will buy myself a Vespa,” Ms Molinari told local newspaper La Nuova Ferrara, referring to an Italian brand of scooter.

In the meantime, she plans to visit friends by bicycle instead.

Ferrara mayor Alan Fabbri, who is also from Bondeno, hailed her approach to life: “I would give Giose a medal rather than a fine.”

“It’s not common to have such inner strength, and it gives me hope for my own old age!” he wrote on Facebook. – AFP