Careless Driving

If a person 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, he is guilty of an offence.

Without Due Care & Attention

The test for driving without due care and attention is if the way the person drives ‘falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver’. In addition, the court can consider any particular matters known at the time to the driver because, in determining what would be expected of a careful and competent driver, ‘regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could have been expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused’.

Examples of driving which may amount to driving without due care and attention include:

  • overtaking on the inside,
  • driving inappropriately close to another vehicle,
  • driving through a red light,
  • emerging from a side road into the path of another vehicle,
  • tuning a car radio,
  • using a hand-held mobile phone or other hand-held electronic equipment where the driver was avoidably distracted by that use, and
  • selecting and lighting a cigarette or similar where the driver was avoidably distracted by that use.

Without Reasonable Consideration

This offence is made out only if other road users are inconvenienced by the driving of the defendant. Evidence of such inconvenience may be provided either by the direct evidence of another road user, or by inference to be drawn from evidence of the reactions or behaviour of other road users.


Examples of conduct appropriate for a charge of driving without reasonable consideration are:

  • flashing of lights to force other drivers in front to give way; misuse of any lane to avoid queuing or gain some other advantage over other drivers,
  • unnecessarily remaining in an overtaking lane,
  • unnecessarily slow driving or braking without good cause,
  • driving with undipped headlights that dazzle oncoming drivers,
  • driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed, and
  • driving a bus in such a way as to alarm passengers.

To discuss available defences with one of our expert solicitors such as mechanical defect and necessity please call.

This offence is dealt with in the Magistrates Court and if convicted the maximum penality is:

  • a fine up to £5000.

Disqualification is discretionary but endorsement, in the absence of ‘special reasons’, with between three and nine penalty points is obligatory. In appropriate cases, the court may disqualify the defendant until an extended driving test is passed.

McKenzies Solicitors, are experts in motoring law. We have a dedicated team who have over 60 years of combined experience in dealing with such matters. To discuss your case in more detail with a specialist soliictor please call or email using the form below.

Please complete the email enquiry form below ensuring that you fill in the boxes which are marked *

Email a copy of this message to your own address

Follow us on Twitter

mckenziessols Mckenzies 'no case to answer submission' half way through a trial is successful. Client accused of serious violent offence is acquitted.
mckenziessols 2 days of police questioning in relation to serious allegation. Client released without charge. No further action to be taken.
mckenziessols Complainant admits the allegations were fabricated under skilful cross-examination. Client acquitted. Will the complainant now be prosecuted