Oldest driver: Bob Edwards breaks Guinness world record
NGATAKI, New Zealand -- Bob Edwards, 105, has been driving for 88 of his 105 years and has no plans to give it up; he learned to drive in a French car that had a lever instead of a steering wheel and he's still on the road, only now in a red four-wheel-drive Mitsubishi,
setting the new world record for the Oldest (living) driver,
according to the World Record Academy: www.worldrecordacademy.com/.
Photo: World's oldest driver Bob Edwards, 105, stands in front of his red Mitsubishi in Ngataki, New Zealand. Edwards, 105 years-old, got his first license 88 years ago and has no plans to stop driving. Photo: AP/Nick Perry (enlarge photo)
According to Guinness World Records, the world's oldest driver (ever) was American Fred Hale Sr. who was on the road until his 108th birthday in 1998.
The Guinness World Record for the Longest career as a bus driver was set by Carl Fisher (USA, b. 12 December 1930), who has been driving a school bus in Pleasant Hope, Missouri, USA since 1946. He still drives high school students to Ozark Technical College daily, as of December 2010.
Mr Edwards drives three times a week to the store 15 kilometres down the road. He picks up groceries on Sundays and the newspapers on other days. Occasionally, he says, he'll drive farther afield, to a medical appointment or to visit friends.
His wife, Lesley, stopped driving about 30 years ago. Her husband always took the wheel, anyway, and he will stay with it as long as he can.
Bob Edwards, was born in Hastings, England, in 1908, and started his working life aged 10.
He received his first licence in 1925, aged 17-years-old after learning to drive in a French car that had a lever instead of a steering wheel.
Bob Edwards, the world's oldest driver, has been driving for 88 of his 105 years and has no plans to give it up, just as he intends to keep working out every morning in his home gym, and to keep regularly cooking meals for himself and his wife, who's 91.
"In fact, I don't think I'm old," Mr Edwards said. "Not really."
He's been involved in just one crash in his life and has gotten just one speeding ticket, a citation that still gets him riled up years later.
When he broke his left hip three years ago, his doctors said to stop driving for six weeks but he didn't pay them much mind. After all, he says, he drives an automatic and only needs his right leg for that.
In New Zealand, drivers older than 80 must have their health and vision tested every two years to stay on the road. Many countries in Europe and US states have similar requirements.
"Older drivers, on a per-kilometre-driven basis, are involved in far fewer crashes than younger drivers," said Andy Knackstedt, a spokesman for the New Zealand Transport Agency, which oversees driver testing.