Road Traffic Act 1988 s.1
Section 1 of the Act defines the above offence as:
Section 2 of the Act defines the offence as:
Section 2A of the Act defines the meaning of “dangerous” in this context. The entire section is given below:
(1) For the purposes of sections 1 and 2 above, a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if (and, subject to subsection (2) below, only if) -
(a) the way he drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and
(b) it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.
(2) A person is also to be regarded as driving dangerously for the purposes of sections 1 and 2 above if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous.
(3) In subsections (1) and (2) above, “dangerous” refers to danger either of injury to any person or of serious damage to property; and in determining for the purposes of those subsections what would be expected of, or obvious to, a competent and careful driver in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.
(4) In determining for the purposes of subsection (2) above the state of a vehicle, regard may be had to anything attached to or carried on or in it and to the manner in which it is attached or carried.
Some examples which may initially attract a charge of dangerous driving include:
Depending on the circumstances, these may also be considered under careless or inconsiderate driving. See ADVICE below.
Both dangerous driving and, more so, causing death by dangerous driving, are very serious offences attracting very severe penalties. As soon as you hear the words dangerous driving, appoint a legal representative specialising in motorcycle law. Excessive speed can attract an initial complaint of dangerous driving. If pulled over cautioned and charged with dangerous driving, do not wait until the summons arrives before contacting a legal representative.
From a legal perspective, there is not much of a substantive difference between the offences involving dangerous driving and careless or inconsiderate driving even though the penalties are far more severe for the former offence.
Under s.23 and s.24 of the Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988, the court is allowed to convict for the lesser charge of careless or inconsiderate driving if, in its opinion, the evidence is insufficient to convict for dangerous driving.
Remember, to convict for dangerous driving, actual injury or risk of injury to either a person or property must be shown.