New legislation has been introduced to punish careless drivers under the Road Traffic Act 1988 section 2(c). The offence is usually punishable by a fine. However, the new law has presented a harsher punishment for deterrence. This legislation will also apply to emergency services if they fall ‘below the expected standard of a competent driver.
Careless driving is driving in a way, which falls below what would be expected of a competent driver. The definition of a competent driver is a matter of interpretation for the courts. This legislation is so it does not depend on what the individual reasonably believes, but rather on what a reasonable person would consider careless.
Examples of careless driving may include:
- Overtaking on the inside or driving inappropriately close to another vehicle
- Emerging through red lights or paths of other vehicles
- Short distractions such as turning a car radio on
- Driving when tired
- Partaking in behaviour such as Wheelspins
Under the new legislation, to be liable for this offence the injury caused must be ‘serious’.
- Any broken or displaced limbs, including a fractured skull, compound fractures etc.
- Injury causing permanent disability, loss of sensory function or visible disfigurement
- Injuries causing substantial loss of blood
- Serious psychiatric harm
The new offence will be triable as an either way offence carrying a maximum of 2 years imprisonment and points on your driving license. Furthermore, it includes fines of up to £5,000.
For further information on this topic or any other legal area, please contact John Szepietowski or Kay Stewart at Audley Chaucer Solicitors on 01372303444 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our Linkedin page.