The issue of driving without due care and attention has been making headlines thanks to the Duke of Edinburgh’s unfortunate accident in which his Range Rover was involved in a collision with another vehicle containing two women and a baby near the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.
Police investigations into what caused the crash are still ongoing at the time of writing; however several media reports have suggested that Prince Philip could be charged with the motoring offence of driving without due care and attention in connection with the incident.
Defining driving without due care and attention
As well as igniting a debate about whether older drivers should be made to re sit their driving tests, the incident has made many people think for the first time about the offence of driving without due care and attention and what it entails. Most people are aware of the risks and penalties involved in speeding, drink driving and driving while using a mobile phone. However this area of the law can be more confusing and difficult to define.
Driving without due care and attention, which is also known as careless driving, can involve:
- Causing a collision by pulling out into the path of another vehicle
- Disrupting traffic flow by staying in the middle lane on a motorway
- Using the wrong lane at a roundabout
- Driving against medical advice (including when the advice is given in the instructions of medication)
- Driving when unwell or excessively tired
- Performing other tasks when driving such as setting a satnav or fiddling with the radio
- Driving in an aggressive manner for example by swerving across lanes, tailgating or undertaking other vehicles by passing them on the left hand side.
Unlike more serious traffic offences, driving without due care and attention can often involve an honest mistake rather than making a decision to break the law, for example by deciding to drive after consuming alcohol.
Defending careless driving charges
If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of being charged with driving without due care and attention, the first thing you should do is seek the advice of an experienced motoring solicitor. At Purcell Parker our team have a great record when it comes to defending these kinds of charges. Not only that, we recognise that in many cases of this kind, the charges will relate to an uncharacteristic lapse in judgement by someone who has never been accused of breaking the law before. With this in mind, we will treat you with empathy and keep you fully informed in a plain English manner about all aspects of the progression of your case.
How can I defend the charges against me?
Driving without due care and attention covers many different types of driving infringements and every single case is unique. This means any line of defence your motoring offence solicitor recommends will relate specifically to the set of circumstances that led up to the incident in question. That said, there are often valid arguments that can be used in the defence of driving without due care and attention and your lawyer will be able to recommend the course of action that is likely to result in the best outcome for you. For example in the case of the Duke of Edinburgh, a legal expert commented in the media that if quotes attributed to him saying that he had been dazzled by the sun were true, a possible defence would be that the low winter afternoon sun made it impossible for him to see the vehicle he collided with.
Consequences of driving without due care and attention
As with any criminal offence, the punishments for driving without due care and attention increase in relation to the severity of the offence. At Purcell Parker, we work hard to achieve the best possible outcome for your case, including securing the least severe punishment appropriate to your case. For example, in less serious cases, it can be possible to be referred to a Driver Awareness Course in order to avoid the implications of getting points on your licence such as higher insurance premiums. In more serious cases of driving without due care and attention, a driving ban is possible, so as soon as you are aware of any proceedings against you, it’s vital to get in touch to arrange specialist legal representation.
Motoring solicitors on your side
If you are being prosecuted for driving without due care and attention or any other motoring offence, contact Purcell Parker for free initial advice on 0121 436 9781or fill in our online contact form.