If you’ve been accused of careless driving, you may be charged with one of these two offenses – driving without due care and attention or driving without consideration for other road users and property.
If you are to be convicted of either of these, the court has to prove that you didn’t use or show the levels of care and driving skill that are expected from drivers in the same circumstances or conditions. The test applied is the same for all drivers, of all ages, abilities and experience. If you don’t have a good reason or explanation for your driving being below this set level, you will probably be convicted.
What constitutes careless driving?
There are many things that can get you stopped for careless driving – lighting a cigarette, putting on mascara or hitting a road sign because you were needlessly distracted; these are just a few examples.
To be accused of inconsiderate driving, you don’t actually have to have had an accident; you just need to have driven in a way that inconvenienced or worried other drivers and pedestrians.
If you are about to be prosecuted for either type of careless driving, you will, if your offence didn’t involve an accident, be sent a Notice of Intended Prosecution in the post. You can either accept the penalty, which usually involves a fine and penalty points, or you can fight the prosecution. To do this, you’ll need the help of specialist lawyers like motoringoffencelawyers.com; you can’t do it on your own.
Your options and arguments
You can’t just argue that your driving was up to scratch, you have to provide information, proof and concrete reasons. These reasons could include:
- any mechanical fault that you were unaware of and couldn’t reasonably have expected or been aware of at the time of the alleged offence. The police will have to prove that you should have known about the problem;
- Defects on the road surface such as black ice or potholes which caused you to lose control of the vehicle;
- you were under duress at the time – you were in an emergency situation, maybe a medical emergency or you were driving to escape danger or the threat of violence;
- you were suddenly incapable of controlling the vehicle due to a fit, low blood sugar or another medical crisis, or
If you’re convicted of careless driving, you could face a fine of up to £5,000, dependent on income, as well as three to nine penalty points on your licence and maybe even a disqualification. This is why it’s so important for you to have legal help.
The driver improvement course
If you were stopped for a relatively minor instance of careless driving, you may be offered a driver improvement course instead of a punishment. This course means you can avoid a fine, points and prosecution, but you will probably only be offered a course if it’s your first such offence and it’s a minor incident.
You’ll have to pay for the course yourself, and they’re not cheap. You also have to go to each session, and you have to complete all the paperwork and pass it!
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