Is Careless Driving a Criminal Offence in the UK?

Authored by alidino
Posted: Monday, October 18, 2021 - 07:15

There are many offences that come within the scope of a driving offence. One of the most ubiquitous traffic violations is careless driving - not taking or showing enough care and attention on the roadd. When you drive in a careless or dangerous way, you risk prosecution, so it is important to follow road safety rules. There is some very useful information in this guide for drivers accused of careless driving by Frank Rogers Law

Careless driving – the law

Driving without care is an offence under section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. It is illegal to drive a vehicle without proper care or reasonable consideration for other road users. You could be breaking the law if you are guilty of any of the following:

  • Sudden braking
  • Failing to look properly
  • Tailgating
  • Overtaking on the inside
  • Turning into the path of another driver
  • Having your attention diverted by a distraction inside and outside the car

Careless driving codes

There are different codes and penalty points for each offence. For inconsiderate driving, the codes are CD10 to CD90, separated for offences. In the UK, driving without due care is an offence which attracts sanctions of between 3 and 11 points, based on the offence. Careless driving penalties points will be 3 to 9 for codes CD10 to CD30  and penalty points will be 3 to 11 for codes CD40 to CD90. 

  • CD10 – Driving without due attention and care
  • CD20 - Riding without generous consideration for others
  • CD30 - Driving without due care or without rational consideration for other road users
  • CD40 - Causing death through driving without care when unfit through drink
  • CD50 - Causing death by inconsiderate driving when unfit through drugs
  • CD60 - Causing death by inconsiderate driving with above the level of alcohol limit.
  • CD70 - Creating death by driving without care and fail to provide a specimen for alcohol analysis
  • CD80 - Causing death by inconsiderate driving
  • CD90 - Creating death by riding with unlicensed or uninsured drivers

How heavy are the penalties?

Penalties vary based on the offence that you are committed. Some penalties for driving without care are:

  • If you cause death by inconsiderate driving, under the impact of drink or drugs, then under section 3A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, the penalty will be 1-14 years in prison and fines, or both. In addition, the respective person will be disqualified for a minimum of two years. 
  • If you cause death by careless or inconsiderate driving, then under section 20 Road Safety Act 2006, the person will be imprisoned for up to 5 years and disqualified for a minimum of one year. 

Summing it up

By now you should have a clear idea about diving without care and the consequences that respective individuals need to face. Before getting on the road, try to understand and know all the safety rules in your country. 

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