Careless Driving Offences

Often referred to as 'driving without due care and attention', the penalties for careless driving vary across the board. This makes it essential that you seek legal advice as soon as possible to lessen the impact on yourself and your driving licence.

Eating While Driving - Careless Driving

What is careless driving?

Careless driving means driving without due care and attention in such a way that the standard of driving falls below what is acceptable from a competent and careful driver. There is no comprehensive list of what is considered careless driving and often it relies on the individuals' situation.

It is worth noting that this offence has seen a significant rise in recent years. High profile celebrity convictions, mobile phone use and an increase in CCTV footage can only add to increased awareness and weight of evidence.

Once in court, it then falls upon the police and prosecution to prove that your driving fell below that of a reasonable, prudent and competent driver.

It is also worth noting that a charge of careless driving may also be coupled with another driving charge, such as using your mobile phone or driving whilst intoxicated.

Some examples of careless driving include:

  • Eating or drinking whilst driving
  • Overtaking on the inside
  • Not giving way at a junction
  • Hand brake turns
  • Inappropriate speed

Penalty on conviction

If you are convicted of careless driving, you could receive anything between 3 to 9 points depending on the severity of the offence and a fine of up to £5000.

The discretion of the court plays a large role in penalties for careless driving and so you should aim to seek legal advice as soon as possible. In some extreme cases, the Magistrates court can disqualify you for a term they see fit for being guilty of the offence of careless driving.

A solicitor can tell you if disqualification is likely in your circumstances after thoroughly going over all of the evidence.

What we can do for you

There are a number of possible defences to a careless driving conviction that your solicitor can make on your behalf after going over all the facts in your case. Automatism, being blinded by the sun, and driving a vehicle with a mechanical fault are just some possibilities.

Don't leave it to the last minute to seek legal advice on your case, especially in light of a "totting up" or additional charge scenario, contact a specialist solicitor to get expert advice.


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Julie Robertson - Motoring Offences and Criminal Defence Solicitor - Manchester

Julie Robertson
Partner, Head of Motoring & Criminal Defences

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