What You Need to Know About Driving Without Due Care and Attention

Driving without due care and attention, or careless driving, is actually a term that covers two separate driving offences. There’s driving that fails to meet the minimum standard to be expected of a competent driver and then there’s driving that fails to show the necessary consideration for other drivers and road users.

If you’re found guilty of driving without due care and attention, then you could receive between three and nine points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. This is a serious situation so if you’re looking at a conviction for driving without due care and attention advice from lawyers is essential.

The prosecution

If the police want to get a conviction for careless driving, they need to prove that your standard of driving was below that of the minimum standard expected of a competent driver. This needs to be proved beyond reasonable doubt, so the police and the prosecution team will use a lot of evidence in the form of witness statements, video footage and other evidence. You can, with the help of a legal team, challenge the case so that you get a fairer punishment or escape the charge altogether.

What counts as driving without due care and attention?

There are many actions that can be seen as careless driving – being obviously distracted, eating, changing a CD, turning to talk to a backseat passenger or even singing are just a few examples. You could also run a red light, drive too close to the vehicle in front of you or turn into the path of an oncoming vehicle.

What happens after you’ve been stopped?

If you’ve been apprehended for careless driving then you’ll get a Notice of Intended Prosecution, or NIP, through the post within 14 days of the alleged offence, or you’ll get a court summons. Whichever it is, you’ll need to get help from specialist motoring lawyers as soon as you can.

It was an accident

OK, you may have had an accident, but there’s a distinction between a genuine accident and one brought about by driving carelessly. Accidents go to your insurance company, but careless driving goes to the police and if they think you’re at fault, then you need to get legal help as soon as possible.

What punishments might I face?

The punishments for driving without due care and attention and without due consideration are points on your licence and a fine of up to £2,500; the exact amount depends on how bad the incident was.

The worse the incident, the more the fine will be; then there’s aggravating factors. Aggravating factors are external circumstances that make the offence look even worse. If you’re changing a CD on a deserted road and you swerve, it’s not ideal, but if you do the same outside a school at 3.00pm, it gets serious. Other common aggravating factors include driving carelessly in rush hour, damaging property, driving with an overcrowded or overloaded car and causing injury to a passenger or another road user.

I plan to plead guilty

Even so, you still need legal help to make sure you’re treated fairly; otherwise you could have aggravating factors added inappropriately or receive an excessive punishment.


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