Home > Driver Offences > Careless and Dangerous Driving: Fines and Sentences

Careless and Dangerous Driving: Fines and Sentences

By: Garry Crystal - Updated: 2 Feb 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
Careless Driving Dangerous Driving Fines

Careless and dangerous driving are both serious motoring offences. There are major differences between both of these offences, and depending on the severity of the offence both can result in Disqualification.

Differences between Careless and Dangerous Driving

Careless driving is driving that falls below the standard required and expected of a competent driver. In most cases the driver may not even realise they are driving carelessly and not paying due care and attention to other road users. Dangerous driving is one of the most serious driving offences and will usually come with a much more severe sentence than careless driving. A dangerous driver would show levels of competency far below that expected of a careful driver. Causing death by dangerous driving would be the most serious offence and will generally always result in a prison sentence.

Common Examples of Careless Driving

Although careless driving may not actually be obvious to the driver it will usually be obvious to other motorists and the police. Examples of careless driving can include colliding with a stationary car, attempting a U-turn on a busy road and turning right without giving way to another vehicle. The act of careless driving will usually be accompanied by another offence such as speeding. The offence of careless driving can be committed on public roads as well as public places such as a car park.

Fines and Sentences for Careless Driving

Careless driving will usually result in between three to nine Penalty Points. Disqualifications and fines can also be applied depending on the seriousness of the offence and the driver’s history and previous penalty points. Failing to stop and report if an accident was the result of careless driving is a serious motoring offence. Failing to Stop and Report can result in five to ten penalty points, disqualification, and a fine. Failing to Stop and Report after an accident can be a serious enough offence to warrant a prison sentence.

Common Examples of Dangerous Driving

Dangerous driving is a very serious offence and the term can cover many different situations. Common examples of dangerous driving will include driving too fast on a busy road, driving on the wrong side of the road, driving with Faulty Brakes and driving with unsecured loads. If the police are charging that the driver’s vehicle is in a dangerous condition then they must prove that the driver was aware of this. This can also be proven if the dangerous condition of the vehicle would have been apparent to a competent driver.

Fines and Sentences for Dangerous Driving

There are a number of different scenarios that will determine the sentences applied to a motorist found guilty of dangerous driving. But if found guilty the following sentences may be applied:

  • Disqualified from driving for one year
  • A fine of up to £5000 or a six months prison sentence
  • Three to eleven penalty points
  • The offender may be required to retake the driving test
  • Serious offences may result in a prison sentence of up to two years or an unlimited fine
  • Sentences of community service may also be applied in England and Wales
  • These sentences, fines and penalty points may be reduced if there are special reasons or mitigating factors

Serious Dangerous Driving Offences

Although dangerous driving itself is a serious offence there may be other circumstances that would make the court consider the offence more serious. These circumstances can include that the driver was under the influence of drugs and alcohol, and/or the driver was racing at excessive speeds. Previous motoring offences such as a history of bad driving or previous convictions for drink driving will also be viewed seriously by the courts. If the driver does show serious remorse, has a clean driving licence and pleads guilty to the offence the court may be more lenient.

Motoring offences such as careless, reckless and dangerous driving are taken very seriously by the police and the courts. These offences place other drivers and members of the public at risk. Dangerous driving is a serious offence that can be dealt with by the Crown Court rather than a Magistrates Court. Any motorist who has been charged with any of these offences should seek legal representation and advice from a solicitor or lawyer.

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[Add a Comment]
Boydy - Your Question:
I am been served a nip for dangerous driving a driving without due care I was no more that 40 yards away from a junction moving forawrd my finger came off the clutch causing my bike to wheelie no more than 2ft off the floor what am I expect to recive I no have to go for ab interview at the police station witch I find strange if they are prosecuting me

Our Response:
We don't really know what the police will decide to do. Perhaps they will allow you to explain your actions etc. Driving without due care and attention can attract between 3 to 9 points plus a hefty fine.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Feb-18 @ 12:11 PM
I am been served a nip for dangerousdriving a driving without due care i was no more that 40 yards away from a junction moving forawrd my finger came off the clutch causing my bike to wheelie no more than 2ft off the floor what am i expect to recive i no have to go for ab interviewat the police station witch i find strange if they are prosecuting me
Boydy - 2-Feb-18 @ 6:23 PM
Deep - Your Question:
I was driving wrong lane for 300yrds and took wrong exit on mini round about and my daughter she is 8 yrs sitting back without belt,do I get points for this?as police told me they will send letter for prosection pls advise

Our Response:
You can be fined up to £500 if a child under 14 is not wearing a seat belt while you’re driving. The penalty for careless driving depends on the severity of the offence and how much it endangers other road users.
NoPenaltyPoints - 10-Jan-18 @ 11:56 AM
I was driving wrong lane for 300yrds and took wrong exit on mini round about and my daughter she is 8 yrs sitting back without belt,do i get points for this?as police told me they will send letter for prosection pls advise
Deep - 7-Jan-18 @ 4:56 PM
Hi I was driving to work this morning due to weather conditions I accidentally went into no entry police officer staff I reckon was coming from the other side stoped me ask me to turn around and follow we pulled ova at bus stop she took pics of ma license and said I will summon you what will happen and also she didn’t given me no producer or anything plz advice thanks
Jazzy - 27-Dec-17 @ 10:34 PM
I got blocked in buy 2 cars anda group of 15 males and I managed to get the car out and the car in front oh me tryed to serve into me and forced me to go wrong way around the round about I got charged we dangous driving my solicitorsaid to pled not gulty now final court case is up and he's total to say I'm gulty I have 2 witnessto back me up and their's 2 witnesses against me what should I be looking to get
Mark buc - 2-Nov-17 @ 2:56 AM
I was pulled over a few weeks ago by policeman on his own who told me had been following me since last town, about 10 miles he went over car inside,out even underneath could, t find anything wrong, then said I had drifted over white line in middle of road,issued me with £100 fineand 3 points on fine it said contravene white line. Just got letter confirming this should I go to court to appeal
Josey - 28-Mar-17 @ 10:03 PM
sam - Your Question:
I am being investigated by police for driving without due care and attention, should I inform my insurance company of this? Now? or if I am charged?

Our Response:
Check your policy for details on this. You should always inform your insurer if you're in an accident, even if you don't want to make a claim.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Mar-17 @ 10:25 AM
I am being investigated by police for driving without due care and attention, should I inform my insurance company of this? Now? or if I am charged?
sam - 18-Mar-17 @ 7:19 AM
I was out on my motorbike I overtook a car on a bypass reached speed of around 90 the car started to flash headlights but there were no blue lights just headlights flashing so I didn't stop the car pulled in to a car park I carried on was not sure it was a police car at the time but it was . I contacted the police force concerned when I got home but they said they could not confirm unless I had the registration
G - 28-Feb-17 @ 4:32 AM
I was driving a van in London today quite near parliament square and was in a small road in stop start traffic turning onto the main road where I needed to turn right. I thought the road was one way and there was two lanes to turn each left and right, so I went onto the right side (which was empty) thinking I could go down here and turn right. After doing this I realised that I had drive onto the other side of the road and it was not one way. I got to the end at the junction and still turned right onto the main road as traffic was slow and I was let on and then progressed onto the correct side of the road without causing any problems on the road.I realised my mistake straight away, and am now worried that I might get fined and points? I'm not sure if there were any cameras, I believe there were no traffic lights there. Do you think I'll be penalised for this?
Jonny - 14-Feb-17 @ 1:45 PM
Hi, I was driving in the city centre of my city and I took the bus lane (1 mistake). At the end of this route I turn right and after few metres I realised to be in wrong side. So I went immediately on the right side. I know there are many cctv in that area (most of them are cctv bus lane). Could I have been caught by one of them? What do I risk? (I've read I can be imprisoned for that). Thanks
Nec - 18-Jan-17 @ 8:19 AM
I mistakenly turn into a road that I wasn't suppose to turn into ( I wasn't in the wrong lane). The police car stopped me almost immediately (within 2 seconds of taking the turn). I came out of my car and explain to the officer that I missed my way. It was 1:45am Saturday morning. He asked me if I have been drinking. I told him no, that I just came out to see if there is any where I can chill. He said ok and told me to drive with care -before zooming off. He didn't say whether I will be charged or not or if they are going to serve me NIP. I didn't write down my vehicle number ( unless he has a cam in his car or his colleague wrote it down). I have a pending (my first and only charge - had my licence in July 2015 and have been driving since September 2015) speeding workshop to attend next Saturday (a week from today). Will the officers charge me?
Jayzee - 26-Nov-16 @ 3:04 AM
ChrisM - Your Question:
I was driving a work car into a supermarket car park, my sat nav said turn right, as I turned I realised I was on the wrong side of the road as I could see the traffic light I had gone thru in my rear view mirror.I am a new driver and not far from my was a lamp post with CCTV the black circle balls.This has happened about 1 hour ago as I'm a new driver I am abit worries

Our Response:
Wait and see whether anything comes of this. If you didn't hit anything and progessed to park as normal, you may find no action is taken.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Nov-16 @ 12:59 PM
I was driving a work car into a supermarket car park, my sat nav said turn right, as I turned I realised I was on the wrong side of the road as I could see the traffic light I had gone thru in my rear view mirror. I am a new driver and not far from my was a lamp post with CCTV the black circle balls. This has happened about 1 hour ago as I'm a new driver I am abit worries
ChrisM - 19-Nov-16 @ 11:49 AM
Fiesta - Your Question:
I was in my village one night, and was a bit angry at the time I pulled away from a street and span the wheels a bit and took a mini round about a bit quick to turn around. I was stopped by a dog walker who wasn't impressed, and he said he was going to report me to the police. Am I likely to get pulled over while out and about to be spoken to about this? I did not exceed the speed limit in the area too.

Our Response:
The police may follow up on this and give you a warning. It's unlikely they'll be able to do anything concrete in terms of further action without the dog walker having to go to court to give evidence etc.
NoPenaltyPoints - 6-Oct-16 @ 12:04 PM
I was stuck at a traffic light which was not working after a time another car drove out of the wrong side of the road I went to do the same a car came at had to brake hard and swirv we nearly hit he said he repor ting to police
Jacko - 6-Oct-16 @ 11:08 AM
I was in my village one night, and was a bit angry at the time I pulled away from a street and span the wheels a bit and took a mini round about a bit quick to turn around. I was stopped by a dog walker who wasn't impressed, and he said he was going to report me to the police. Am I likely to get pulled over while out and about to be spoken to about this? I did not exceed the speed limit in the area too.
Fiesta - 4-Oct-16 @ 9:34 PM
Sammi - Your Question:
Hi, I have only had my license a couple of months, and I drove my new car to a new areA, when turning right into the shopping centre I turned into the wrong side of the road( there were traffic lights) I realised staright away and immediately drove into the car park. Is it possible for me to get fined for this and how long does it normally take ?

Our Response:
This depends on whether you were caught on camera etc. You would usually hear within 14 days of the offence if further action was to be taken.
NoPenaltyPoints - 21-Sep-16 @ 2:13 PM
Hi, i have only had my license a couple of months, and i drove my new car to a new areA, when turning right into the shopping centre i turned into the wrong side of the road( there were traffic lights) i realised staright away and immediately drove into the car park. Is it possible for me to get fined for this and how long does it normally take ?
Sammi - 20-Sep-16 @ 6:11 AM
I was recently in a fairly bad crash where I was on the main road and a man pulled out from a side road (with a give way sign) without looking and hit the side of the car over to the other side of the road. Apparently, him and a motorcyclist had been arguing for the past 10 miles and the driver was trying to escape him (we think). Can either of them be charged with anything? Thank you.
Hope - 3-Sep-16 @ 1:16 PM
i was driving home from work i early hours of this morning was driving in area i had not driven before. was using google map told me to turn right in to main road did not realise it was a dual carriage way.until i was on road got turned down as side road within minutes. when i realised because of another car coming towards me .i was very confused there was an police car that stopped behind me but did not approach me what could happen. i am really worried
worried sick - 25-Aug-16 @ 11:01 AM
I was driving on a bridge with no speed signs on the bridge i was caught by a camera van doing 80 on what they say is a 60mph bridge? I do not come from that area i went there for the day. I have 3 points from 2 years ago for speeding in a 30 and got 3 points. They have sent me a letter saying its careless/dangerous driving? Any idea what i would be likely to get?
Big Kev - 17-Aug-16 @ 11:04 PM
I was stuck in a long line of traffic all turning right at tje lights so when it was clear I drove up the road on the wrong side and went through the lights to turn left. I may havebeen caught on camera What shall I expect??
Stouty - 22-Jul-16 @ 9:31 PM
M - Your Question:
I was driving home and there was a car in front of me and they were driving badly and so I kept a distance but when I would catch up to them they wouldn't move out the way. They were undertaking cars the whole way but when I got into the left lane the slowed down to swear at me. I think they thought I was going to undertake and it just made them angry. I noticed they had kids in the car so I backed away and stayed behind them. I was an X3 so I think they thought it was intimidating. They continued swearing at me so at the round about I pretended to take a pic of them cause I was getting so angry. I just stayed behind them until they finally moved and I drove off. Anyway they reported me for dangerous driving. I don't know what to do. I've already been to court for speeding and I have 6 points. I'm so annoyed because I wish I recorded them. How can they say I was driving dangerously when I was behind them the whole way. If they say I was speeding then so were they! Do you have any advice.

Our Response:
We can't really advice on this, except to give your version of events. If it goes to court, you might want to seek the advice of a motoring lawyer. Sorry we can't be of any help on this one.
NoPenaltyPoints - 5-Jul-16 @ 9:54 AM
I was driving home and there was a car in front of me and they were driving badly and so I kept a distance but when I would catch up to them they wouldn't move out the way. They were undertaking cars the whole way but when I got into the left lane the slowed down to swear at me. I think they thought I was going to undertake and it just made them angry. I noticed they had kids in the car so I backed away and stayed behind them. I was an X3 so I think they thought it was intimidating. They continued swearing at me so at the round about I pretended to take a pic of them cause I was getting so angry. I just stayed behind them until they finally moved and I drove off. Anyway they reported me for dangerous driving. I don't know what to do. I've already been to court for speeding and I have 6 points. I'm so annoyed because I wish I recorded them. How can they say I was driving dangerously when I was behind them the whole way. If they say I was speeding then so were they! Do you have any advice.
M - 4-Jul-16 @ 8:35 AM
So I was pulled over 2 nights ago under this offence, was stuck behind a truck pulled back to see ahead and saw that the road was clear on a straight pulled out and started to overtake but by the time I got past the conner was coming up. I did not know the roads
James - 27-Jun-16 @ 9:31 PM
Kessa - Your Question:
My husband followed a car on a duel carriageway that would not move in to the left hand lane ( there where no other cars on the road). When they reached a roundabout my husband got in the left lane to exit and the the car turned out to be a police officer put his lights on and gave him a ticket for careless driving saying he thought my husband was going to under take him. He has been given a ticket and I want to know if we can appeal it and how.

Our Response:
You'd have to seek legal advice on this really. If, as you say, he didn't actually undertake, we find it difficult to understand how ticket could be issued on the basis of what an officer thought was about to occur.
NoPenaltyPoints - 22-Jun-16 @ 12:38 PM
My husband followed a car on a duel carriageway that would not move in to the left hand lane ( there where no other cars on the road). When they reached a roundabout my husband got in the left lane to exit and the the car turned out to be a police officer put his lights on and gave him a ticket for careless driving saying he thought my husband was going to under take him. He has been given a ticket and I want to know if we can appeal it and how.
Kessa - 21-Jun-16 @ 5:29 PM
Mary - Your Question:
My boyfriend has been charged with dangerous driving and drink driving will he be put in prison? He has been convicted of drunk driving before and banned but got his licence backnow this

Our Response:
That will be the decision of the judge, so we really can't say.
NoPenaltyPoints - 16-Jun-16 @ 10:26 AM
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