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Reckless Driving

Reckless Driving is an offence under Section 117(2) of the Road Transport Act 2013.

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

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

You drove ‘recklessly’ if you created an obvious and serious risk of physical injury to another road user or substantial damage to another’s property.

The mental element of the offence is that you failed to give any thought to that risk or that you recognised the risk but went ahead anyway.

When determining whether the offence has occurred 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

If it is your first major traffic offence in the past 5 years the maximum penalty is:

  1. 9 months in prison
  2. A 3 year ‘automatic’ licence disqualification, which the court can reduce to 12 months, and
  3. A fine of $2,200

If it is your second or more major traffic offence in the past 5 years the maximum penalty is:

  1. 12 months in prison
  2. A 5 year automatic licence disqualification, which the court can reduce to 2 years, and
  3. A fine of $3,300

However, there will be no criminal record, licence disqualification or fine where the court deals with you by way of:

  1. A Section 10(1)(a) dismissal, or
  2. A Conditional release order without a conviction

Defences to the charge include:

  1. Necessity
  2. Duress, and
  3. Automatism

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