"You're better to be a little late than dead on time."
That's the advice of Nowra resident Victor Day on keeping your driving record clean.
And he would know - having just clocked up 70 years' of a totally clean record.
A few things have changed since Mr Day first got behind the wheel, including the driving test he took when he was 16.
"The test was pretty easy compared to today," said Mr Day.
"I went down to the Wollongong police station to have the test and the Sergeant said to the other officer 'I just came back from doing a test, you do it.' I think I went around up to Keira Street and back to the police station and that was it.
"I already had plenty of experience though."
Having helped his father deliver milk bottles to local schools, Mr Day said he was already comfortable behind the wheel.
"My dad worked for Dairy Farmers milk company and he used to go to the farms and pick it up and deliver bottles to schools in the Illawarra," he recalled.
"I would go with him and as I got older, he used to say to me 'you steer the wheel', so I would steer it down the hill.
"And as I got even older, he asked if I wanted to drive and I said 'oh yeah!' There was a banging of milk bottles in the back of course, but I got better at it slowly. From doing that, there was no trouble driving a car."
Mr Day also had plenty of experience driving deliveries across the Illawarra and Shoalhaven for the grocery firm Davis and Penney. He started working there in Wollongong when he was 16, then went on to managing a warehouse in Nowra for 32 years.
"One day at work, they said that one of their drivers couldn't come in. And the relief driver was already sick. So they asked me if I could go down to Nowra to go and get the order," said Mr Day.
"The first order I did was going to get all different types of cheeses. I wasn't licenced to drive as I was only 19 and in those days, you had to be 21 to be licenced to drive a truck. They said 'well we know that, but just close your mouth and go do the run.'
"They had their confidence in me and I had confidence too. If someone didn't turn up for their delivery shift and then off I'd go."
Asked whether he's had any close calls for any infringements, Mr Day said maintaining a clean record just felt "natural."
"The vehicles that were made in my era weren't made to go fast. Particularly with working, a lot of them were loaded and were heavy, so there just wasn't the opportunity to speed, even if you wanted to," he said.
"I've had a few close calls and I've gone over the limit speeding before, not excessively. I guess I've just never been caught," he said.
"He's always been a very careful driver," said his wife, Glenda, who chimed in from the kitchen.
While Mr Day recalls not having to wear seatbelts when working at Davis and Penney, he did say one thing hasn't changed about traffic in Nowra.
"Traffic has always been busy," he said,
"I can remember all these years ago the holiday-makers used to come to Nowra and we couldn't get to town because it was just bumper to bumper stopped out the front of our warehouse.
"People used to get out of the car on the side of the road and have a cup of tea. It seems no different 50 years later."
After 70 years behind the wheel, Mr Day has made the decision to voluntarily hand in his licence due to slowly losing his vision from cancer.
"I've actually got melanoma in the left eye and I've had chemotherapy," he said.
"I've been treating it for 14 years and I've had a lot of surgery. I've still got my licence and I still pass the test every year.
"But now I've just felt in myself that enough's enough. I've finished with chemo, and that wasn't successful. So I'm on borrowed time now, actually. I spoke with my darling wife Glenda and it's time to give it away now.
"She drives, and that's all I need. It's been a really good life. A good life with my lovely wife."
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