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:
|Penalty||First offence||Subsequent offence|
|Maximum term of imprisonment||9 months||12 months|
|Automatic disqualification||3 years||5 years|
|Minimum disqualification||12 months||2 years|
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.