Negligent Driving Occasioning Death is an offence under Section 117(1)(a) of the Road Transport Act 2013.
To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:
- You drove a motor vehicle
- You drove the vehicle negligently, and
- You caused death to another as a result
You drove ‘negligently’ if you:
“departed from the standard of care for other users of the road to be expected of the ordinary prudent driver in the circumstances”
When determining whether the offence has been committed the court must consider:
- The nature, condition and use of the road at the time
- The amount of traffic on the road at the time, or which might reasonably be expected on the road at that time, and
- Any obstructions or hazards on the road at the time
Examples of negligent driving may include:
- Causing an accident by failing to keep a proper lookout for others
- Allowing a collision to occur by not driving defensively to avoid it, and
- Endangering others by not paying due care and attention to road rules or conditions
Examples that may not amount to negligent driving include:
- Where an accident was inevitable or unavoidable
- Where a previously unknown mechanical defect caused a collision, and
- Where you became unconscious due to a condition you were not previously aware of
If it is your first major traffic offence in the past 5 years the maximum penalty is:
- 18 months in prison
- A 3 year ‘automatic’ licence disqualification, which the court can reduce to 12 months, and
- A fine of $3,300
If it is your second or more major traffic offence in the past 5 years the maximum penalty is:
- 2 years in prison
- A 5 year automatic licence disqualification, which the court can reduce to 2 years, and
- A fine of $5,500
However, there will be no criminal record, licence disqualification or fine where the court deals with you by way of:
- A Section 10(1)(a) dismissal, or
- A Conditional release order without a conviction
Defences to the charge include:
- Automatism, and
- Honest and reasonable mistake of fact
Our team is vastly experienced in advising and representing clients in traffic law cases, and will fight to ensure you achieve the optimal result in the circumstances.
We offer fixed fees for all traffic cases, and a free first conference for those who are going to court.
Section 117(1)(a) of the Road Transport Act 2013 is Negligent Driving Occasioning Death and reads as follows:
Negligent, furious or reckless driving
(cf STM Act, s 42)
(1) A person must not drive a motor vehicle on a road negligently.
(a) if the driving occasions death–30 penalty units or imprisonment for 18 months or both (in the case of a first offence) or 50 penalty units or imprisonment for 2 years or both (in the case of a second or subsequent offence), or
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