The offence of dangerous driving under section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 is committed when the defendant’s driving falls far below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver and it would be obvious that driving in that way would be dangerous – section 2A of the RTA 1988.
Some typical examples from court cases of dangerous driving are:
- racing, going too fast, or driving aggressively;
- ignoring traffic lights, road signs or warnings from passengers;
- overtaking dangerously;
- driving under the influence of drink or drugs, including prescription drugs;
- driving when unfit, including having an injury, being unable to see clearly, not taking prescribed drugs, or being sleepy;
- knowing the vehicle has a dangerous fault or an unsafe load;
- the driver being avoidably and dangerously distracted, for example by:
- using a hand-held phone or other equipment
- reading, or looking at a map
- talking to and looking at a passenger
- lighting a cigarette, changing a CD or tape, tuning the radio.
Maximum when tried summarily: Level 5 fine and/or 6 months custody
Maximum when tried on indictment: 2 years custody
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