LEGAL EAGLE: Accused of careless driving - and worried I may be banned
I am required to attend court in relation to an allegation of careless driving and am scared I am going to be disqualified from driving and that I will lose my job as a result. Please can you provide me with some advice.
Careless Driving, or driving without due care and attention, or inconsiderate driving, is a criminal offence under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. The offence is committed when a person’s driving falls below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver. To be convicted it must be proven that you did not exercise the degree of care and skill that would be reasonably expected of a driver in the same circumstances. In determining what would be expected of a careful and competent driver in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.
A person is to be regarded as driving without reasonable consideration for other persons only if those persons are inconvenienced by his driving.
Examples of careless driving include, overtaking on the inside or driving inappropriately close to another vehicle, inadvertent mistakes such as driving through a red light or emerging from a side road into the path of another vehicle, short distractions such as tuning a car radio, lighting a cigarette or failing to adhere to relevant parts of the Highway Code.
Examples of inconsiderate driving include, flashing of lights to force drivers in front to give way, misuse of any lane to avoid queuing or gain some other advantage over other drivers, driving that inconveniences other road users or causes unnecessary hazards such as unnecessarily remaining in an overtaking lane or unnecessarily slow driving or braking without good cause.,
The difference between careless driving and dangerous driving is a matter of fact and degree, the difference between ‘far below’ the required standard (dangerous) and merely ‘below’ (careless).
Punishments for a conviction of careless driving range from a range of up to £5000, 3-9 penalty points or a disqualification from driving. The severity of the punishment will depend on the circumstances of the case. Police may issue Fixed Penalty Notices with 3 penalty points and a £100-£200 fine. Alternatively, the case will proceed to Court.
Please do not hesitate to contact our office on 0191 565 3112 or email [email protected] and we can provide further in depth advice specific to your case. Visit www.benhoarebell.co.uk for further information.