DriveArchive Article 163

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Careless Driving – What You Need to Know

Careless driving is actually the umbrella term for two different driving offences; driving that fails to meet the minimum standard expected of a competent driver and driving that doesn’t show the expected consideration for other road users.

If you are convicted of careless driving, then the court can give you between three and nine penalty points on your licence or even disqualify you from driving. This is, as you can imagine, potentially very serious, so if you are facing a court case for careless driving help from a strong legal team is essential.

What the prosecution needs to do

If the police are to secure a conviction against you for driving without due care and attention, they need to prove that your driving was below the minimum standard or level expected from a competent driver. This case also needs to be proved beyond reasonable doubt and so it can involve a lot of evidence and witness statements, as well as video footage. A specialist legal team can challenge this evidence, helping you to get a fairer penalty or avoid prosecution altogether.

Examples of driving without due care and attention include

There are many things that could lead to this charge – failing to pay attention to your driving for no good reason, eating, lighting a cigarette, applying lipstick or even singing or turning to a backseat passenger can land you in bother. There’s also driving too close to another vehicle, running a red light, turning into the path of an oncoming vehicle and colliding with a pedestrian.

What happens after you’re caught driving carelessly?

If you’re caught for careless driving, then you’ll either get a Notice of Intended Prosecution (NIP) through the post within 14 days, or you’ll receive a court summons. Either way, you need to find and engage specialist motoring lawyers as soon as possible.

I think it was an accident

There’s a very fine line between an accident and an incident caused by careless driving. With accidents, you’ll be dealt with by your insurance company, but if the police are involved and they believe you’re at fault, then it’s a different matter altogether and you need to lawyer up.

What are the punishments for careless driving?

Careless driving, whether it’s without due care and attention or without due consideration, can lead to those points on your licence, as well as to a fine of up to £2,500, depending on how severe the incident was.

As you can imagine, the worse the incident, the bigger the fine. There are also aggravating factors (external factors that make the offence look worse in the eyes of the law). The most common aggravating factors include driving too fast, performing other tasks while driving, driving with passengers or a heavy load, driving near a school or similar institution, damaging property, causing an injury or driving carelessly in high traffic volumes.

What if I decide to plead guilty?

Even if you plan to plead guilty, you still need legal representation to make sure you’re not unfairly punished or have aggravating factors added in when maybe they shouldn’t be. Legal help can reduce your fine and your punishment.

© Sarah Williams 2017