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Careless Driving

Careless Driving Solicitors

The information below explains some of the legal issues involved with each offence. However, please do not hesitate to telephone or email our specialist solicitors who will be happy to have a free initial consultation.

Careless Driving

To amount to careless driving, the standard of your driving must fall ‘below’ that of the average driver (note the difference with dangerous driving below). However, this is where the law becomes confusing. The court must have regard not only to the circumstances of which the average driver could be expected to be aware, but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused. It is therefore important to consider the particular facts of each case subjectively – whether you acted as a competent and careful driver based on the circumstances known to you.

Careless Driving Penalty

Driving without due care and attention, contrary to s.3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as amended by the Road Traffic Act 1991), also known as careless driving, is dealt with at the Magistrates’ Court and, if convicted, will result in 3-9 points being added to your licence, as well as a fine up to £2,500. The court can also impose an immediate disqualification, even if you have a clean licence.

Of course, if you ‘tot-up’ to 12 points within a 3 year period then you face a minimum 6 month disqualification unless we can convince the court not to ban you. It is vital therefore that a specialist solicitor thoroughly checks the accuracy of the evidence against you.

Careless Driving Defences

The prosecution need to prove that you were at fault in that you departed from the standard of a competent and careful driver in all the circumstances of the particular case. S.3 also includes an offence of inconsiderate driving. It is possible, therefore, that a person’s driving may amount to inconsiderate driving but not careless driving. This would result in a lower number of points, normally 3.

If you were not stopped by the police at the time of the incident, it is likely that you have received a Notice of Intended Prosecution combined with a s.172 notice requiring you to identify the driver.

It is worth remembering that it is usually only after the police have identified the driver will a summons be issued in respect of the alleged careless driving offence. If you are unable to complete the s.172 notice (requiring you to furnish driver details) then it is unlikely that the CPS will achieve a conviction for careless driving. If you fail to respond you may instead be charged with failing to identify the driver (6 points) but there are defences available to this charge. We will be pleased to advise you in relation to the s.172 notice.

The ‘standard’ of driving

Often the police will form an opinion very quickly as to whether the standard of driving amounted to careless or dangerous without giving full consideration to the facts. This means that you may have been charged with an offence that you have not actually committed.

It is important to discuss the facts of your own case with a specialist solicitor.

How we can help

At Berris Law our Motoring solicitors have the knowledge and experience to review your circumstances carefully and present the strongest case on your behalf to the court. We ensure that you will receive the highest quality legal advice and representation that we have to offer. We will assist you by:

  • Discussing all of your case’s circumstances
  • Arguing your case and emphasising the reasons why you need your driving licence
  • Advising you throughout the case
  • Puting forward the strongest case on your behalf
Why Choose Us?

At Berris Law, our solicitors understand the stress that losing your driving licence can cause and the potential long-term consequences that can affect you, your family and your future career and earning potential. We are available to support you throughout the entire process, explaining the likely outcomes and legal issues.

How to make contact

Please call our motoring team for a no obligation, free telephone conversation, and we’ll happily provide you with a quote. Where we can, we’ll provide you with a fixed fee, so you don’t have to worry the costs. Alternatively, you can email us using the contact form below.


Free Consultation

We know that no two cases are ever the same and we are dedicated to guiding you through the legal process with tailored solutions which work for you. Fill out the form to request your free consultation today.

The office is open from 9 am to 5.30 pm Mondays to Fridays excluding bank holidays. In the event your call is urgent and require us out of hours please either telephone us on 020 3325 7415 or email us on info@berrislaw.co.uk or complete the online form. All are monitored 24/7.


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