Under s.2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, ‘dangerous’ refers to a standard of driving, one that ‘falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.’ It must be ‘obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.’
Offenders may be tried in the Magistrates’ Court, in which the penalty is a maximum of six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding £2,500. If their case is heard in the Crown Court, the maximum sentence is two years’ imprisonment and/or an unlimited fine. Irrespective of where the case is heard, the court must enforce a disqualification of at least a year plus an extended retest.
Causing Death by Dangerous Driving
Here, all that the prosecution will need to demonstrate is that dangerous driving occurred, and it was a cause of death. It is tried only in the Crown Court, with a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine. The court must disqualify the driver for at least 2 years unless special reasons apply, in which case they must endorse the driver’s licence with 3-11 penalty points. The court must also impose an extended retest.
Driving Whilst Disqualified
A case of this kind would usually be heard in the Magistrates’ Court, where the maximum penalty is six months’ imprisonment and/or a fine not exceeding £5,000. The court must endorse a driver’s licence by six penalty points if they are convicted of this offence. Disqualification can be imposed as an alternative.
Driving Without Insurance
This offence is dealt with only by magistrates, and can be punishable by way of a fine not exceeding £5,000. The court has the discretion whether or not to disqualify, but they must endorse a driver’s licence with between six and eight penalty points.
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