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Section 3 Road Traffic Act – What You Need To Know

section 3 road traffic act

If you’ve been accused of careless driving under Section 3 Road Traffic Act, you might be wondering what exactly this charge means, the potential penalties that you could face and whether there are any defences available to you.

In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act, a well as talking you through the process you should follow if you have received this charge. We’ll also answer some of the most commonly asked questions regarding driving without due care and attention.

What Is Section 3 Of The Road Traffic Act?

Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 describes the offence of driving without due care and attention. This is often referred to as careless driving or inconsiderate driving.

This means that if you are caught driving your vehicle carelessly, or without consideration for other road users, you are guilty of contravening Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act. This may result in a CD10 conviction, which is the motoring offence code allocated to this offence.

Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act applies to any mechanically propelled vehicle. So, it isn’t just a car that you can be charged with driving carelessly. This means that Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act also applies to motorcycles, electric bicycles, electric scooters and mobility scooters.


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Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for advice about a careless driving charge


Careless Driving Examples

There are many different things that can constitute careless driving. In simple terms, anything that means that you are not paying due care to your driving and the road ahead could mean that you find yourself facing a careless driving charge.

Let’s take a look at some examples of driving without due care and attention.

  • Undertaking another vehicle (overtaking on the inside)
  • Failing to stop at a red light
  • Tailgating (driving too close to another vehicle)
  • Being avoidably distracted, for example by changing the radio or eating whilst driving
  • Turning into the path of another vehicle
  • Braking unnecessarily
  • Driving unnecessarily slowly
  • Remaining in an overtaking lane unnecessarily
  • Dazzling other road users with un-dipped headlights
  • Scraping a parked car
  • Using a sat nav whilst driving

This is not an exhaustive list. Any action that means that you are driving without the care and attention expected of a motorist could constitute careless driving.

How Can Police Prove Careless Driving?

If you have been charged with careless driving, you might be wondering how police can prove that you committed the alleged offence.

Before you can be found guilty of driving without due care and attention, the prosecution will need to prove that you were driving the vehicle in question on a public road or in a public place at the time in question. They will also need to prove that your driving standard fell below that which is expected of a reasonable competent driver.

Evidence of careless driving could include:

  • Witness statements
  • Dashcam footage
  • Accident reports
  • CCTV

Contact Caddick Davies Solicitors today
Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for advice about a careless driving charge


What Is The Penalty For Careless And Inconsiderate Driving UK

What Is The Penalty For Careless And Inconsiderate Driving UK?

If you’ve been charged with a careless driving offence under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act, you might be wondering what penalty you might face if you are found guilty.

The penalty that you’ll face will depend on the incident in question. This could be between three and nine penalty points, a fine of up to £5,000 and a potential disqualification from driving.

In the case of less serious incidents, you may be given a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN). This is typically three points on your driving licence, along with a £100 fine. You may also be offered a driver education course as an alternative to the Fixed Penalty Notice. If you are given an FPN, you have the choice of accepting the penalty or requesting a court hearing to plead your case. It’s important to note that you could face a harsher penalty if you are found guilty in court.

In more serious cases, for example if you have endangered other road users as a result of your careless driving, you will receive a court summons. If you are found guilty in court, you could receive up to nine penalty points on your driving licence, along with a fine of up to £5,000. You could also find yourself disqualified from driving for a period of the judge’s choosing. The length of this disqualification will depend on the severity of the incident in question.

The more severe the offence, the harsher the penalty is likely to be. Aggravating factors can have an impact on the penalty that is awarded. These may include:

  • Excessive speed
  • Causing injury
  • Causing death
  • Causing damage to property or other vehicles
  • Carrying passengers
  • The incident occurring in an area with many pedestrians
  • The location of the incident, for example near a school
  • Carrying out tasks whilst driving
  • Driving against medical advice
  • Tiredness

Can You Lose Your Licence For Careless Driving?

If you’ve received a court summons for driving without due care and attention, you might be wondering whether you could lose your driving licence as a result of the offence.

In minor cases, you will usually receive a Fixed Penalty Notice consisting of a fine and penalty points. Alternatively, you may be offered a driver education course. However, more serious cases will lead to a court summons where your case will be heard by a judge.

If you are found guilty of driving without due care and attention, it will be up to the judge to decide on the penalty that you are given. This could be up to nine penalty points on your driving licence, a fine of up to £5,000 or a disqualification from driving.

So, if you are found guilty of driving without due care and attention, you could lose your driving licence. There is no set period of time that you will be banned from driving, as it is down to the judge’s discretion.

To give yourself the best chance of avoiding a driving ban for a careless driving charge is to ensure that you are represented by an experienced motoring defence solicitor. They will be able to prepare the strongest possible case to defend the charge, reducing the likelihood that you will be found guilty of the offence or receive a driving ban.


Contact Caddick Davies Solicitors today
Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for advice about a careless driving charge


What Happens If You Plead Guilty To Careless Driving

Is Careless Driving A Criminal Offence?

If you have been found guilty of careless driving, you might be wondering whether you have committed a criminal offence, and whether the offence will be included on your criminal record.

Careless driving is a non-imprisonable offence. This means that if you are found guilty of careless driving, you cannot be imprisoned. This also means that careless driving is not classified as a recordable offence, so will not be detailed on your criminal record. This is because only recordable offences are included on a criminal record.

What Happens If You Plead Guilty To Careless Driving?

When you receive a court summons for careless driving, it can be difficult to know how to plead. If you decide to plead guilty to the offence, you might be wondering what is likely to happen next.

If plead guilty to driving without due care and attention, you will be convicted of the offence. Your solicitor will have the chance to put forward any mitigating circumstances to argue for a more lenient sentence. This may include the circumstances of the incident or how a sentence could affect you.

Once all arguments have been presented, the judge may leave the room to consider the sentence that they will award. They will then return to give their sentence. This could range from three to nine penalty points, a fine of up to £5,000 and the potential for a disqualification from driving.

If you’re considering pleading guilty to a charge of driving without due care and attention, it’s important that you seek representation from a specialist motoring defence solicitor. They will be able to prepare the strongest possible defence for your case, helping to reduce the penalty that you may face.


Contact Caddick Davies Solicitors today
Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for advice about a careless driving charge


Careless driving defences

Careless Driving Defences

If you have been accused of driving without due care and attention, you might be wondering what defences are available to you. The judge will be looking to establish whether your driving at the time in question fell below the standard that is expected of a competent and careful driver, so you will need to defend this.

Potential defences for a careless driving charge include:

  • That you were not driving the vehicle in question at the time of the alleged offence.
  • That the standard of driving did not fall below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver.
  • That your vehicle experienced a mechanical fault that affected your driving. You must not have known about the fault before driving the vehicle for this defence to apply.
  • That the careless driving was a response to an emergency situation, such as mounting the pavement to avoid hitting a child that had ran into the road.
  • That an unknown medical condition affected your control of the vehicle, such as an epileptic fit. You must not have been aware of the medical condition before driving, or it should have been declared to the DVLA previously, with the DVLA declaring you fit to drive.
  • That you were distracted by an internal or external factor, that was not within your control. For example, a stone hitting your windscreen.
  • That you were escaping from an assault by a third party.

This is not an exhaustive list of careless driving defences. It is important that you consult with an experienced motoring offence solicitor before entering your plea. They will be able to advise you on the best course of action for your individual circumstances, as well as preparing the strongest possible defence for your case.

What To Do If You Are Charged With Careless Driving

If you have been accused of driving without due care and attention, you’re likely to be concerned about what this means for you. You may be worried about the potential penalties that you could face, as well as the court process itself.

It’s essential that you seek specialist legal advice from an experienced motoring offence solicitor as soon as possible if you are facing a careless driving charge. They will be able to talk you through your options, as well as exploring any defences that are available to you.

Should you decide to plead guilty to the offence, your solicitor can present any mitigating factors to the judge, helping to minimise the penalty that you receive. In some cases, this may help you to avoid a potential driving disqualification.

In Summary

Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act details the offence of driving without due care and attention. You may also hear this referred to as careless driving or inconsiderate driving. This offence carries a maximum penalty of a nine penalty point endorsement, a fine of up to £5,000 and a discretionary disqualification from driving.

If you’ve been charged with driving without due care and attention under Section 3 Road Traffic Act, it’s important that you seek specialist legal advice from an experienced motoring offence solicitor as soon as possible.

At Caddick Davies, we have many years of experience when it comes to defending careless driving charges. However you decide to plead, we can prepare the strongest possible case to assist you in securing acquittal or minimising any potential sentence that you may receive.

For free, no-obligation advice on your careless driving case, give Caddick Davies a call today on 0333 443 2366.


Contact Caddick Davies Solicitors today
Send us a message or call us on 0333 443 2366 for advice about a careless driving charge


 

Motoring Lawyer at Caddick Davies Solicitors
Caddick Davies is recognised as one of England and Wales’ leading motoring law firms, offering specialist Speeding Solicitors, Drink Driving Solicitors & Dangerous Driving Solicitors.We provide advice and representation on all motoring offences including speeding, the avoidance of disqualification on penalty points or “totting up” (exceptional hardship), driving without due care and attention (careless driving), dangerous driving, drink driving, as well as a range of services related to medical revocation of a driving licence.
Neil Davies

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