Naz Maqsoom of Kangs Solicitors comments on the offence of Dangerous Driving and sentencing following conviction.
The Law | Kangs Motoring Offences Advisory Team
Section 2A(1) Road Traffic Act 1988 (‘the Act’) provides that the offence is committed where the standard of driving falls far below the standard that would be expected of a competent and careful driver and it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.
Dangerous driving can also relate to the condition of a vehicle as Section 2A(2) of the Act provides that a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous.
What Is Driving Dangerous? | Kangs Motoring Offences Team
- The test is an objective one judged through the eyes of a competent and careful driver.
- If the driving standard falls far below that which is expected of a careful and competent driver then the driving would be dangerous.
- The standard is not judged through the eyes of the actual driver.
- Case Law demonstrates that a driver’s particular skill or lack of it is not relevant when considering whether the driving is dangerous (Bannister  EWCA Crim 1571).
- ‘Dangerous’, as defined in Section 2A(3) of the Act, refers to the danger of personal injury or serious damage to property.
- For examples of dangerous driving please click here.
- In determining whether or not the driving was dangerous a court will consider factors such as the time of driving, weather conditions, visibility, amount of traffic and speed
Sentencing | Kangs Motoring Offences Defence Team
A charge of dangerous driving can be tried in:
- the Magistrates’ Court where a level 5 fine and/or 6 months custody may be imposed or
- the Crown Court where the maximum penalty is 2 years imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
Regardless of the level of the trial court it must, in the absence of ‘special reasons’:
- impose disqualification of at least 12 months and
- must order an extended retest.
In the event that ‘special reasons’ are applied for not disqualifying, then the Court must endorse the driver’s licence with penalty points, subject to any special reasons for not doing so.
How We Can Help | Kangs Criminal Defence Solicitors
Due to the potential severity of sentence available to the courts, it is imperative that expert legal advice is sought from the outset.
If you require advice or assistance, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team through: