Careless Driving

Careless driving (sometimes known as driving without due care and attention) is often harder to prove than some driving offences. If you’ve been caught speeding, then this is generally more clear cut and measurable than careless driving which depends upon the prosecution successfully arguing that whatever you were doing at the time fell below the standards that would normally be expected of a “competent and careful driver”. Things like tailgating, ignoring road signs, undertaking could all be classed as careless driving.

It’s important to note that careless driving is not the same as the more serious offence of dangerous driving which is covered separately here (link) on the site.

Careless driving can be dealt with by way of a fixed penalty ticket or you may have to attend Court. If you are given a fixed penalty you can challenge the ticket at Court.

It is important to obtain advice early when deciding if it is worth challenging the police evidence.

If you’re summonsed to court though you could face a fine of up to £5000 and up to nine penalty points. There is also the possibility of disqualification from driving so we’d recommend that you seek legal advice at this point to look at mounting a defence or exploring the alternatives such as a driver improvement course.

Given the nature of the offence any defence will normally involve an argument about what actually happened.  This might include a straightforward assertion that your driving at the time did not fall below an accepted standard or that an incident was caused by an underlying health issues that had been previously undiagnosed, such as epilepsy.

Although a careless driving conviction depends on an objective analysis the actual events can be open to interpretation. An expert in road traffic law can often find defences which may not be immediately apparent. Even if you decide to plead guilty our lawyers can put forward mitigation for you and guide you through the Court process. Good mitigation can often save your licence!


If you are facing an allegation of careless driving, call our experienced legal team here at Motoring Defence on 0800 612 4859 and we’ll advise you on what steps to take next.