A driver is deemed to have driven dangerously (or recklessly) if their driving has fallen way below the minimum standard expected of a careful and competent driver. It’s an offence if it would be obvious to a careful and competent driver that such driving is dangerous.
Examples of dangerous driving include:
- speeding or aggressive driving, or racing;
- ignoring road signs, warnings from passengers or traffic lights;
- overtaking another vehicle without due care and attention;
- driving while under the influence of drink or drugs (including some prescription drugs) or driving while otherwise unfit due to injury, illness, poor eyesight or excessive tiredness;
- knowingly driving an unsafe vehicle or carrying an unsafe load, and
- being avoidably distracted by a mobile phone, reading, chatting to passengers, lighting a cigarette or changing a CD.
What’s careless and inconsiderate driving?
This is when a driver falls short of the minimum standard expected from a competent and careful driver. If you’re facing prosecution for this sort of offence, then you should get expert legal advice from Kenway Miller.
- overtaking on the inside;
- driving too close to another vehicle (tailgating);
- driving through a red light;
- turning into the path of an oncoming vehicle, and
- being avoidably distracted.
Inconsiderate driving can be when a driver:
- forces other drivers to give way by flashing at them;
- misuses lanes to gain an advantage;
- lingering in an overtaking lane;
- driving too slowly or braking inappropriately, and
- failing to dip headlights.
What are the penalties for dangerous driving?
Penalties vary depending on the circumstances of the case, but include:
- one to 14 years’ imprisonment, and/or an unlimited fine for causing death by dangerous driving while under the influence of drink or drugs;
- one to 14 years’ imprisonment and/or at least a two-year ban for causing death by dangerous driving;
- up to five years’ imprisonment and at least a 12-month ban for causing death by careless driving;
- up to two years in prison and/or an unlimited fine, as well as a 12-month ban for causing death by driving while unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured, and
- up to life imprisonment and a two-year ban for murder or manslaughter.
Penalties for careless and inconsiderate driving
Again, the punishments vary with the offence, but the penalties usually involve a fine and penalty points.
Penalties for careless and inconsiderate driving include:
- careless and inconsiderate driving can lead to three to nine points;
- driving without consideration for other road users also means three to nine points, and
- careless and inconsiderate driving or without consideration for other road users is three to nine points.
These offences must stay on the driver’s record for four years from the date of the offence.
Penalty points for careless and dangerous driving offences
Causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs means three to 11 penalty points. Three to 11 points are also imposed if the driver fails to produce a specimen for alcohol analysis.
These offences stay on a driver’s record for 11 years after the date of the offence.
If the driver causes death by careless or inconsiderate driving this means three to 11 points, as does causing death by driving while unlicensed, banned or uninsured. These offences stay on the record for four years after the offence.