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This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom - Content Editor - Brisbane

Fernanda Dahlstrom has a Bachelor of Laws, a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice. She has also completed a Master’s in Writing and Literature. Fernanda practised law for eight years, working in criminal defence, child protection and domestic violence law in the Northern Territory and in family law in Queensland.

Dangerous Driving

In New South Wales, there are various offences relating to dangerous driving. The penalties for these offences vary depending on the level of harm caused and the level of culpability of the offender. A finding of guilt may result in a fine and/or a term of imprisonment as well as a mandatory period of disqualification from driving.

Dangerous driving causing death

In New South Wales, the offence of dangerous driving causing death can attract penalties of up to ten years imprisonment (or up to 14 years imprisonment for an aggravated offence.) A person is guilty of this offence if a death results from heir driving and at the time they were intoxicated, driving at a dangerous speed or driving in a manner that was dangerous to the public.

Dangerous driving causing GBH

Dangerous driving causing grievous bodily harm occurs when a person sustains a really serious bodily injury as a result of another person’s dangerous driving. A person found guilty of this offence can be sentenced to up to seven years imprisonment (or 11 years if the offence is aggravated).

Negligent driving

Negligent driving causing death occurs when a person dies as the result of another person failing to take the level of care a reasonable person would take when driving, It can result in a penalty of up to 18 months imprisonment or a fine of up to 30 penalty units for a first offence and up to two years jail and a fine or 50 penalty units for a second offence.

 Negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm occurs when a person sustains really serious bodily injury because of another person’s negligent driving. This can attract a term of imprisonment of up to 18 months and a fine of up to 30 penalty units.

Drive in a manner dangerous

Drive in a manner dangerous to the public can attract a term of imprisonment of up to nine months imprisonment and a fine of up to $2,200 for a first offence. It.can also lead to disqualification from driving for any period up to and including life, with a minimum disqualification period of 12 months.

Drive at a speed dangerous to the public can also attract these penalties.

Menacing driving

Menacing Driving is driving in a way that menaces another person, either with the intention to menace a person or in circumstances where the driver ought to have known that their driving menaced another person. This is an offence under section 118 of the Road Transport Act.

A person found guilty of this offence imprisoned for up to 18 months and fined up to 30 penalty units. They will also be disqualified from driving for three years.

Reckless driving

Reckless Driving occurs when a person drives in a way that causes a real risk of physical injury to a person who is using the road or of substantial property damage. This may consist of overtaking unsafely, or failing to remain in one’s lane while going around a bend.


Burnouts are an offence under section 116 of the Road Transport Act.

Doing burnouts is a fine-only offence; however, an aggravated offence can attract a penalty of imprisonment.

Click here to download a real-life guideline judgement for a past New South Wales dangerous driving court hearing.

If you have any further questions or are seeking legal representation, please contact Armstrong Legal.


Traffic offences are treated seriously. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you have received a penalty notice, had your licence suspended or been charged with a serious offence. Our lawyers are highly experienced and understand the difficulties you face without a licence. We can guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.


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