What Is Driving Without Due Care And Attention?
Driving without due care and attention, is often referred to as Careless Driving and it is a commonly charged traffic offence in Queensland. While it is a less serious charge than dangerous driving, which is a criminal charge, it can still result in the Court imposing significant fines, licence disqualifications and even imprisonment. It is therefore important to be aware of the laws surrounding Careless Driving and be aware of what steps to take if you have been charged with this offence.
Carless Driving charge What Do the Police Have to Prove?
Pursuant to section 83 of the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld), it is an offence for any person to drive a motor vehicle on a road or elsewhere:
- without due care and attention; or
- without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place.
For the police to convict you of careless driving, they have to prove to the relevant standard that you were not driving carefully and in a way that showed reasonable consideration for other road users and without the degree of care and attention that a reasonable and prudent driver would exercise in those circumstances.
This will be objectively assessed against the conditions at the time and place you were driving, for example the traffic on the road, the type of terrain and the weather.
Examples of behaviour which could lead to a charge of careless driving could include;
- Not keeping a proper distance;
- Excessively speeding;
- Overtaking in a dangerous manner; or
- Lack of concentration.
It does not matter whether or not you were involved in an accident; even if there were no other cars involved and there was no damage caused, you can still be charged with careless driving.
Penalties for Careless Driving
If you have been convicted of careless driving, a number of penalties may apply depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident and its severity.
You face a maximum fine of 40 penalty units ($6,192 as of 1 July 2023) or 6 months imprisonment. Courts generally issue fines for careless driving charges rather than prison time.
Will I Lose Any Demerit Points?
Yes. The Queensland Department of Transport will detract 3 demerit points from your traffic history if you are convicted.
Will I Lose My Licence?
While there is no mandatory licence disqualification set out in relation to this offence, the Court does have the power to disqualify your licence under s 187 of the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (Qld).
Whether a disqualification is imposed will depend on the circumstances surrounding the incident that led to the charge. The Court may look to disqualify your licence in situations where:
- Another person is injured in relation to the incident;
- You have a long/poor traffic history;
- You have previous similar charges; or
- There was damage caused as a result of the incident.
If a disqualification is imposed, it can range from a period of one month, to an absolute disqualification of your licence, which means you are disqualified for a minimum of 2 years, at which time you can apply to have your licence reinstated.
Do I Need A Lawyer?
Traffic offences are treated very seriously in Queensland and can have a huge impact on your life if they are not handled accordingly.
If your employment and income is dependent on your driver’s licence and your ability to drive, then it is imperative to obtain legal representation. By engaging an experienced law firm like Aitken Whyte Lawyers, it gives you the best possible chance of obtaining a result of no disqualification period and the lowest possible fine.
If as a result of a Careless Driving charge you have accumulated demerit points and risk losing your licence, we are able to discuss whether you are eligible for a Special Hardship Order.
What Will Aitken Whyte Lawyers Do For You?
The benefit of having experienced lawyers like those at Aitken Whyte Lawyers acting for you, includes:
- You will be fully informed and prepared;
- It shows the Court that you take the charges seriously;
- We will inform you of all your legal options;
- We will review the evidence against you and ensure there is enough to charge you;
- We are able to negotiate with prosecution to protect your best interests;
- We are able to provide you with information regarding courses you should complete to assist in reducing any penalty imposed;
- We appear in Court alongside you, and speak for you in front of the Magistrate to put forward your best foot forward;
- We know the Magistrates in each Jurisdiction and how they operate; and
- We will advise you of your obligations after your matter has been finalised.
Appearing In Court – We Offer A Fixed Fee with No Surprises
Don’t go to Court by yourself and be surprised or not know what is going to happen. Robert Aitken and his team of lawyers and solicitors are focused on results. Call us today to discuss your matter with an experienced member of our traffic law team.
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