Driving without due care and attention…..
Most drivers have heard of this charge, which has increased in its use over recent years, to cover a multitude of minor misdemeanours which fall below the standard for the charge of reckless driving.
This can include eating and drinking behind the wheel, tuning the radio, changing CDs and even engaging in discussions with passengers. The penalties include a fine of up to £2500.00 (although the standard fine is £60.00), between 3 and 9 penalty points on your license, and disqualification from driving in the most serious of cases.
Such convictions must be declared in most applications for insurance, and that can lead to increased insurance premiums. Whilst some insurers advise that the increase could be up to 40%, others confirm that each case is judged on its own merits and in some cases the premium may not increase at all.
A spokesperson from the AA supported the increase, noting that it is a very efficient way of ensuring that people avoid such convictions. They say that there is a definite correlation between driver distraction and accidents.
A recent trial in Manchester used spy cameras from a vehicle to take photographs of distracted drivers, who then received a fine by post. Future plans include stopping drivers to give them an "on-the-spot" £60.00 fine.
In an age where driving is so central to our fast-paced daily lives it is easy to forget how distractions can impact on our driving skills. Accidents do happen, but the law is increasingly taking into account actions which may be construed as negligence.
This article was written by Jo Milne of the RTA Team.