Dangerous / Careless Driving

Dangerous / Careless Driving


Under Section 2A(1) of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that a person is regarded as driving dangerously if:

  1. The way he drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver and
  2. It would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

Under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 careless and inconsiderate driving is defined as a person who drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place.

The distinction between the two offences is that of a qualitative nature. I.e. the standard of driving displaced by the alleged offender. The difference is extent to which the offender’s driving falls below the required standard. This can be demonstrated through injury or damage for example.


The difference between the sentencing of these two offences is significant. Dangerous driving is an either way offence and may therefore be heard in the Crown Court. The sentencing guidelines indicate a maximum two year custodial sentence if sentenced in the Crown Court, whereas the maximum sentence for careless driving is an unlimited fine.

In terms of disqualification and endorsement, for careless driving endorsement is mandatory and disqualification is discretionary depending on the circumstances of the offence. For dangerous driving there is mandatory disqualification.

How we can assist:

Offences of careless and dangerous driving are seen by the Courts as very serious and often involve exposing the public to some level of harm and danger. It is therefore common that clients may face the real risk of receiving a custodial sentence and a lengthy ban. It is therefore vital that you have an expert solicitor defending you at Court.

Our solicitors have represented clients who have been charged with dangerous driving and face a real risk of a custodial sentence. We have knowledge and experience in this area of the law and can strategically assist with mitigating the circumstances surrounding the offence and make effective representations at Court on behalf of the client to avoid a custodial sentence and reduce the length of a ban.

In some cases “special reasons” may apply to your circumstances which may explain the reasoning for committing the offence. It is vital that this is explored as a possible defence to avoid a possible ban.

If you are facing allegations of speeding, or have been charged to Court (received summons to Court), call us today to discuss and explore your defence.