Driving offences – causing death or serious injury – MOJ consultation response31 Jan 2017

RACF sees case for new motoring offence

Responding to a Ministry of Justice consultation – Driving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury – the RAC Foundation believes that there should be a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving. This is for two reasons – first to create an offence provision that fills the gap in current law and second to provide scope for judges to impose appropriate sentences on careless driving cases relevant to the specific circumstances.

Careless driving as set out in Section 3ZA of the Road Traffic Act 1988 states that a person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if the manner of their driving falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.

Creation of the new offence – with appropriate publicity – should help to impress upon drivers the potentially serious implications of even small lapses from careful driving, whilst providing the courts with flexibility on actual sentencing within a higher upper limit than currently available. Drivers are human beings and are regrettably liable to make relatively minor mistakes or errors of judgement, which can have devastating consequences for the seriously injured victims and their families.