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Negligent Driving (not occasioning death or GBH)

Negligent Driving (not occasioning death or GBH) is an offence under Section 117(1)(c) of the Road Transport Act 2013 which carries 3 demerit points and a fine or a maximum penalty of $1,100 if dealt with in court after which the RMS will apply 3 demerit points unless you are able to achieve a section 10 dismissal or a conditional release order without a conviction.

To establish the offence, the prosecution must prove beyond reasonable doubt that:

  1. You drove a motor vehicle, and
  2. You drove the vehicle negligently

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:

  1. The nature, condition and use of the road at the time
  2. The amount of traffic on the road at the time, or which might reasonably be expected on the road at that time, and
  3. Any obstructions or hazards on the road at the time

Examples of negligent driving may include:

  1. Causing an accident by failing to keep a proper lookout for others
  2. Allowing a collision to occur by not driving defensively to avoid it, and
  3. Endangering others by not paying due care and attention to road rules or conditions

Examples that may not amount to negligent driving include:

  1. Where an accident was inevitable or unavoidable
  2. Where a previously unknown mechanical defect caused a collision, and
  3. Where you became unconscious due to an illness you were not previously aware of

The offence does not carry a mandatory period of licence disqualification however, a court may disqualify you for a specified period if it wishes to do so.

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Necessity
  2. Duress
  3. Automatism, and
  4. Honest and reasonable mistake of fact

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