Potentially, yes, but unlike dangerous driving, a conviction for careless driving doesn’t result in an automatic ban from driving.
What is Careless Driving?
Careless driving is defined under section 52 of the Road Traffic Act 1961:
“A person shall not drive a vehicle in a public place without due care and attention”.
There is no legal definition of “due care and attention”.
Whether the driving is seen as careless or not will depend on the facts of each case.
Every case is different after all.
if it’s your first time coming to court
the Judge has a discretion not to disqualify you,
What happens in Court?
If you are convicted of careless driving the Judge will usually invite your lawyer to explain to them why you should not be disqualified.
Here the Judge is looking for reasons upon which they can base a decision on whether or not you should be disqualified.
What kinds of detail do they want to know about?
Your age, work commitments (if any), family commitments (if any) and previous convictions (if any).
A conviction for careless driving does carry a disqualification of up to 2 years.
However, if it’s your first time coming to court the Judge has a discretion not to disqualify you, based on factors like the ones above.
What are the penalties?
A disqualification order of not less than two years for a first offence and a mandatory disqualification of four years for a second or subsequent offence within three years.
How many penalty points do you get for Careless Driving?
If you’re convicted in court, you will receive 5 penalty points. The court doesn’t impose the penalty points (they never do). It is the Department of Transport.
Are there any defences open to you?
1. Firstly, that the driving simply does not amount to Careless Driving.
You may think that the driving was not only not careless but wasn’t even a road traffic offence in the first place.
2. Duress: that you were somehow forced into driving in the manner complained of.
3. Mechanical defect: a sudden and unexpected defect occurred that was no fault of the driver.