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Careless Driving charge your options

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Careless Driving charge your options

Careless Driving Offence Your options



At Parnell and Peel we have been specialising solely in motoring offences for over 16 years . With an expert team of specialist motoring solicitors and an extensive track record of clients helped we can help you with your motoring offence . In this short article we aim to cover the main points in relation to careless driving including : your options , the penalties and defences to a careless driving offence .


What is a careless driving offence


An offence of careless driving is constituted by driving without due care and consideration and is committed when a motorist falls below the standard threshold of a competent safe driver. Examples of careless driving can be : 


  • overtaking on the inside
  • driving too close to another vehicle
  • driving through a red light by mistake
  • turning into the path of another vehicle
  • the driver being avoidably distracted by tuning the radio, lighting a cigarette etc
  • flashing lights to force other drivers to give way
  • misusing lanes to gain advantage over other drivers
  • unnecessarily staying in an overtaking lane
  • unnecessarily slow driving or braking
  • dazzling other drivers with un-dipped headlights


Differences between careless driving and dangerous driving


Careless driving is simply driving below the standard minimum expectation of a safe driver offences of careless driving are less severe compared to dangerous driving. Dangerous driving is when a motorist drives in a careless and dangerous way . An example of careless driving would be running a red light whilst distracted whilst an example of dangerous driving would be driving at 120mph in a 40mph zone whilst above the alcohol limit

Careless Driving


Penalties and consequences of a careless driving offence


For careless driving or driving without due care and attention offences police have the ability to hand out £100 fines instantaneously as well as 3 penalty points for the offence. But the penalties faced entirely depend on the severity and circumstances surrounding the case . Serious offences could result in a fine of up to £2500 and a driving disqualification

If you are involved in a road collision and it is fatal you could be prosecuted for causing death by dangerous driving. Resulting in a prison sentence of up to 5 years , driving disqualification and unlimited fine .


Careless driving sentencing guidelines


The sentencing guidelines are used by the magistrate or judge in order to decide the correct penalty for a criminal charged with an offence and help the magistrate/judge reach an informed decision

Sentencing for careless driving can be broken into 3 stages


Category 3 - low responsibility but harm caused.


Category 2 - Either Higher responsibility and lower harm caused or lower responsibility and more harm caused 


Category 3 - High responsibility and large amounts of harm caused .


Responsibility is determined by aggravating factors present such as distractedness , speeding , the motorists behaviour etc

Harm caused is determined by factors such as the level of pedestrians present , damage to third parties such as buildings or vehicles.


Penalties for Categories



Category 3 - Low fine , 2-3 penalty points.


Category 2 - Medium fine and 5-6 penalty points

Category 1 - a higher fine with 7-9 points and/or a disqualification.


Your options when accused of careless driving



When charged with careless driving you may be pulled over by a police officer and presented a FTN to pay or may be notified with a letter at a later date . To assess your options in terms of a careless driving offence it is adamant to consult a specialist motoring solicitor before disputing or accepting the offence . At Parnell and Peel we have specialised in motoring offences for over 16 years helping thousands of motorists in their cases . To see where you stand in terms of your offence contact us now at 0330 341 1690.