What is Dangerous Driving
Dangerous Driving is defined in section 61 of the Road Traffic Act 1974 (WA) as driving “in a manner (which expression includes speed) that is, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, dangerous to the public or to any person”
Examples of behaviours which could be classified as dangerous driving include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Accelerating excessively resulting in the loss of control of a vehicle on a road;
- Falling asleep at the wheel whilst in control of a vehicle on a road;
- Driving at an excessive speed;
- Failing to stop where a driver is required to do so, in accordance with the rules of the road; and
- Driving in such a manner which is inherently dangerous to other road users.
The manner of driving must be assessed as being unsafe in all the circumstances. It usually includes an element of danger or risk to the accused or any other road user.
What are the penalties for an offence of Dangerous Driving?
Dangerous Driving is an objectively serious offence which could attract a term of imprisonment.
The penalties which could be imposed by a Court, and by the Department of Transport, are set out below. These penalties will differ according to whether it is a person’s first or subsequent Dangerous Driving offence and whether a charged person has any other traffic convictions which are considered to be a prior offence according to the provisions of the Legislation.
A maximum fine of $3,000.00.
If a person charged with the offence is the holder of a Provisional Driving Licence the Court has the power under section s16 of Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Act to cancel that person’s driving licence and disqualify that person from holding or obtaining a licence for a period of three (3) months.
The Department of Transport will apply six demerit points to any person who holds a full, or unprovisional, driving licence following any conviction by a Court, for this offence.
A maximum fine of $6,000.00;
A maximum term of imprisonment for a period of nine (‘9’) months; and
A mandatory minimum period of disqualification from driving for a period of at least twelve (‘12’) months.
The exact penalties which will be imposed by a Court will depend upon a person’s prior criminal history, the circumstances surrounding, and leading up to, the offence and a person’s personal antecedents.
If you have been charged with the offence of Dangerous Driving, please do not hesitate to contact our experienced team of Crime and Traffic lawyers at HHG Legal Group who can provide you with informed legal advice and assist you to obtain the best possible outcome in your matter.