Offence provision

Section 117(2) of the Road Transport Act makes it an offence to drive a motor vehicle on a road furiously, recklessly, or at a speed/in a manner that is dangerous to the public.


What is furious, reckless or dangerous driving?

Furious driving involves driving in a manner or at a speed which would cause danger to the life of other road users. You may be charged with furious driving regardless of whether anyone was present on the road at the time.

Reckless driving involves driving in a manner that creates an obvious and serious risk of physical injury to other road users. It means that you either gave no thought to the risk to other potential road users, or you did recognise that risk and chose to drive recklessly anyway.

Dangerous driving involves driving at a speed or in a manner that poses a real, not hypothetical, danger to the public.

In considering whether you have committed an offence, the court is required to consider:

  • The nature and condition of the road.
  • The amount of traffic.
  • Any obstructions or hazards on the road (such as broken down vehicles, fallen loads or emergency services).



If you are charged with furious, reckless or dangerous driving, the potential penalties include:

PenaltyFirst offenceSubsequent offence
Maximum fine$2,200 $3,300
Maximum term of imprisonment 9 months 12 months
Automatic disqualification3 years5 years
Minimum disqualification12 months2 years
Maximum disqualificationUnlimitedUnlimited


Consequences of conviction

If you are convicted of an offence, it will be noted on your criminal record and your licence will be disqualified.

The automatic disqualification period will apply unless the court makes a specific order. The court can disqualify your licence for any length of time within the minimum and maximum periods listed above.

These consequences can be avoided if the court applies section 10 of the Crimes (Sentencing Procedure) Act 1999.


Traffic Offender Intervention Program

The court may give you a more lenient sentence if you participate in the Traffic Offender Intervention Program. This program covers traffic laws and rules, and the potential consequences of breaching the laws. When the course is finished, a certificate will be sent to the court and it can be considered in determining the sentence.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do the penalties differ depending on whether the driving is furious, reckless or dangerous?

No. While “furious”, “reckless” and “dangerous” driving refer to different types of conduct that can vary in seriousness, the maximum penalties and licence disqualification regime is the same.

What are the possible defences?

There are several grounds on which these charges can be defended. Depending on the circumstances of your case, we can argue that:

  • Your driving was not furious, reckless or dangerous.
  • You were not the person driving the vehicle.

Alternatively, we can negotiate with the prosecution to accept a plea of guilty to negligent driving, rather than furious, reckless or dangerous driving.

Is this charge more or less serious than negligent driving?

This is a more serious charge, as you can be sentenced to imprisonment.

The maximum penalty for negligent driving is a fine. You cannot be sentenced to imprisonment for negligent driving, unless the negligent driving caused someone to be injured or killed.

How can we help?

We are experienced in successfully defending furious, reckless and dangerous driving charges.

Book a free consultation or call us on 1300 668 484 for 24/7 legal advice.