Careless Driving

It is an offence to drive a vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other road users. A driver is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if, and only if, his/her driving falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

Depending on the circumstances, examples of careless driving may include: driving into another vehicle, driving too close to another vehicle, overtaking on the inside, or ‘cutting up’ another vehicle.

Inconsiderate driving includes: remaining in an overtaking lane, driving too slowly, dazzling other drivers with undipped lights, driving through puddles and splashing pedestrians, and flashing another driver to make him/her give way. There are plenty of other examples but, as the word suggests, we are talking about driving which is inconsiderate of other drivers.

The offence can only be dealt with in the Magistrates’ Court and the question of whether or not you have driven carelessly is a question of fact for the Magistrates to decide. The Highway Code is of assistance to the court, though if you breach it, this does not necessarily mean that you are guilty of the offence.

If you plead guilty or are found guilty then between 3 and 9 penalty points will be put on your licence and you could face a fine.


Loophole defences don’t really apply to this type of case because the question of guilt or innocence is really a matter of opinion. However, a barrister or solicitor speeding and motoring specialist will be able to advise you about your chances of an acquittal. Frequently he/she will advise that you instruct an expert to challenge the evidence from the prosecution. Such experts can be of particular assistance where the allegation you face follows a road traffic accident where, perhaps, speeding is alleged.

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