Norwegian motorist drove without licence for 36 years

Police in western Norway were left scratching their heads when a 73-year-old man stopped at a random checkpoint admitted driving without a licence for the last 36 years.

In fact, the driver’s confession was so unusual that police and judicial authorities struggled to find a precedent when deciding on an appropriate punishment for the undocumented driver from Sogn og Fjordane.

Sogn district court eventually settled on a two-month suspended sentence and a 10,000-kroner (€1,700) fine, newspaper Bergens Tidende reports.

Police said they had found the man's story almost impossible to believe and double-checked with the Norwegian Public Roads Administration before confirming that the 73-year-old really hadn’t held a licence since 1975.

“This is out of the ordinary, it must be said. This case is so unusual that we haven't been able find any relevant guidelines,” said police inspector Ronny Iden.

The lawless motorist told the court he had driven his car around ten times a week for 36 years without ever being stopped.

He was never involved in an accident in that period, he said, and had mainly driven in an area with very little traffic.

Prosecutors had called for him to be given a custodial sentence and are currently considering whether to lodge an appeal.

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Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration will need to clear up more than 1,000 trucks worth of stones and rubble it left near the stunning UNESCO world heritage listed Nærøyfjord.

Norwegian road authority in hot water for dumping rocks near UNESCO-listed fjord
Nærøyfjorden near to where the Norwegian Public Roads Administration left behind more than 11,000 cubic metres of rocks. Photo by Arian Zwegers on Flickr.

Fly-tipping and rubbish dumping are typically associated with rogue tradespeople and cowboy builders, but it’s the Norwegian Public Roads Administration that is being asked to clear some 11,250 cubic metres of rocks it left near a UNESCO listed beauty spot.

The breathtaking Nærøyfjord in Aurland municipality, south-western Norway, is a landscape conservation area meaning its protected and, therefore, the rubble shouldn’t have been left there.

“This is a blister. We will clean up after ourselves,” Stig Berg Thomassen, project manager for the road authority, told NRK.

The rocks were left behind following a project to upgrade the nearby Gudvanga tunnel.

Thomassen said the mess was left in the conservation area because it wasn’t clearly marked as off-limits.

Nærøyfjorden has been listed as a landscape conservation area since 2002, and the site was added to the UNESCO world heritage list a few years later in 2005.

READ ALSO: You can now get married at this famous Norwegian beauty spot

The municipality in Aurland has given the road authority until December 17th to clear the mess. The mayor for the municipality said the road authority would begin to clear up the remnants of its building project as soon as possible.

The stones won’t be going far, though and will only be moved around 50 to 100 metres along the road to where the conservation area ends.

Project manager Thomassen has admitted that the situation could have been avoided with better planning.

“Yes, we should have probably have done that (prepared better). The situation is as it is, so we just have to clean up. It won’t take long to move the rocks. The Stones will only be transported 50 to 100 meters,” he confessed.