Careless Driving/Driving Without Due Care And Attention
An allegation of careless driving, also known as driving without due care and attention, can only succeed if the prosecution prove that:
- Your driving fell below the standard expected of a competent driver; or
- That you did not show reasonable consideration for other pedestrians and vehicles on the road.
The definitions above are open to interpretation. As explained by Jeanette Miller in this BBC Breakfast interview from June 2012, under present law, a minor breach of the Highway Code could be perceived by a court to amount to the offence of careless driving or driving without due care. There is no set list of what driving errors or manoeuvres would land you in the dock with a prosecution for a driving without due care offence.
Examples you may find surprising are:
- Coming out of a side junction into the path of another vehicle;
- Scraping another car in a car park;
- A minor bump or shunt with another vehicle;
- Using a satellite navigation system or map whilst driving;
- Lighting a cigarette;
- Failing to wear sunglasses in sunny weather; or
- Eating or drinking whilst driving.
Most careless driving cases that we defend will involve our meticulous case preparation. The Magistrates who hear your case will look at all the facts in the case to determine whether or not your driving falls in the two categories above.
Whilst most motoring offences involve numerous technical issues, the strategy involved in defending a careless driving prosecution will most likely involve gathering witness evidence and possibly having an accident reconstruction report prepared to assist in disputing allegations made by the police or witnesses.
Fighting the Careless Driving Allegation
Our specialist team of lawyers will review the strength of the prosecution’s case against you before advising you of the merits of your case. We find that whilst the police may have gathered numerous witness statements to support the allegation against you, when scrutinised, the evidence may well contain inconsistencies and leave the Crown’s case wide open to attack.
For example, we were recently involved in defending a driver who was accused of careless driving after being involved in a serious motorway pile up. There were 6 witness statements relied upon by the Crown but when we examined them closely, we were able to establish that not one of the witnesses had seen the collision but they all made claims of hearing the collision and the evidence was made up of assumptions and inadmissible hearsay evidence. When we pointed this out to the Crown, the case was dropped before it even got underway.
The penalties for careless driving range from a relatively minor 3 penalty points but can be as much as 9 points so if you are contemplating pleading guilty to the offence of careless driving it is important to have a specialist representative to ensure that the Court imposes the lowest penalty possible especially if you are at risk of disqualification. Take a look at the Penalty PDF for more detailed information about the leval of penalty you may face.
Government proposals to enable police officers to issue fixed penalty points and on the spot fines for careless driving were announced 11 May 2011. The new rules are unlikely to come into force until 2012. See what Miss Justice thinks about these plans on our latest news pages.
Not Sure What to Do?
Most people who get in touch with our team of motor offence expert solicitors are uncertain of their options. They are unaware of any legal defences that may be available and find it difficult to believe that it might be possible to defend the careless driving charge they face by using loopholes that apply to the rich and famous! We do represent celebrities but we also represent many hardworking motorists like Brian and we want to help you make the right choice about what you do next.
We are always more than happy to chat things through with potential clients Free of Charge. Call us now on Freephone 0800 085 2784 to speak to one of our specialist motoring offence solicitors. It is only once you decide to instruct us that payment will become necessary and we can often arrange instalment plans to assist you. Many satisfied clients have thanked us for offering this free consultation service as it has prevented them from following inaccurate non-expert advice which could have led to them accepting a driving ban unnecessarily.
If you would like to spend more time browsing on the site before you get in touch, make sure you have a look at our specialist motor offence guidance features such as our penalty calculator which will help you to determine the penalty you may face if convicted and our money saving calculator which helps to outline some of the hidden costs of accepting a conviction.
We think we are simply the best in the business but if you are not satisfied in taking our word for it, our unique “ref me” testimonials scheme allows you to contact previous clients of the firm to seek a completely independent reference about us and what we might be able to do for you.