What is Negligent Driving?
Negligent driving in NSW is an umbrella term that includes the offence of negligent driving, negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm, and negligent driving occasioning death. The offence of negligent driving is the least serious offence within this group. It is a less serious charge than reckless driving or dangerous driving.
When determining whether you are guilty of negligent driving, a court will make an assessment of whether you drove in a manner that could be considered to have been reasonably prudent given all the circumstances at the time.
For instance, if you were driving at the speed limit under normal conditions, this will generally not be considered to be negligent driving. But if there is a thunderstorm and poor visibility, it may be found that a reasonably prudent person would have driven significantly below the speed limit, and that your failure to do so meant you drove in a negligent manner.
What are the penalties for negligent driving in NSW?
As the basic offence of negligent driving is not considered to be a particularly serious offence, the penalties are relatively minor. This should not be confused with the penalties for the related offences of negligent driving occasioning death or grievous harm, which are significant given the grave nature of those offences.
You may also face a period of licence disqualification at the discretion of the court.
However, it is also possible to obtain a section 10 for this offence, meaning no conviction is recorded against you.
How severe is the charge against you?
All driving offences are considered to be significant. But as the intention behind the charge of negligent driving is not to take into account drivers who have caused serious injury or death, it is obviously of a less significant nature, and carries lesser penalties.
Traffic Offender Intervention Program
If you have been charged with negligent driving, the court may consider a lesser penalty if you participate in the Traffic Offender Intervention Program, an educational course aimed at providing better information about traffic rules and requirements.
These types of offences are taken seriously by the court. If you are facing charges, contact one of our traffic lawyers, who can advise you of the penalties you may face, possible defences, and whether a section 10 is a possibility.