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Defending a Careless Driving Charge in Scotland e.g. Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perth, Aberdeen, Paisley, Hamilton, Renfrew, Perth etc.

In order to prove a charge of careless driving under section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 the prosecution requires to prove one of two things:

(a) That the accused driver drove without due care and attention and/or

(b) That the accused driver drove without reasonable consideration for others using the road or place.

In order to prove that an accused driver drove ‘without due care and attention’ the Crown require to establish beyond reasonable doubt that the driving in question fell "below the standard of a careful and competent driver".

Establishing that a driver drove ‘without reasonable consideration’ is much more difficult insofar as the prosecution requires to prove that other persons have actually been inconvenienced as a consequence of the accused’s driving.

Charges of driving without due care and attention can arise in any number of circumstances including a situation where a driver has been involved in an accident because they were not being sufficiently careful at the time.

Examples of driving without due care and attention may include:

(a) Undertaking other motor vehicles

(b) Tailgating

(c) Emerging from a junction without checking if it is safe to do so.

Examples of driving without reasonable consideration include:

(a) Driving too slow or braking unnecessarily

(b) Remaining in an overtaking lane when no longer overtaking

(c) Inappropriate use of full beam headlights

(d) Splashing pedestrians by driving through puddles

Although a less serious offence than dangerous driving careless driving still has the potential to result in significant difficulties for drivers whose driving is at what might be termed ‘the upper end’ of the careless driving scale.

The offence, if proved, carries with it a broad range of penalty points (3-9) and the option of discretionary disqualification. The degree of culpability of the driver determines the ultimate sentence imposed.

Standing the risk of disqualification (whether on a discretionary basis or under the totting up provisions) it is vital for a driver facing prosecution for careless driving to seek expert legal advice at the earliest possible stage.

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