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Negligent Driving

In New South Wales, the threshold for proving negligent driving is fairly low. A driver may be found to be negligent if they did not drive in the manner that a reasonable prudent driver would have driven given all the circumstances. A determination of all of the circumstances includes including consideration of the variable factors such as weather, road and traffic conditions.

There are three main charges of negligent driving. They are:

  • Negligent driving not occasioning death or GBH;
  • Negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm;
  • Negligent driving occasioning death.

The first of these charges is usually dealt with by way of traffic infringement notice. Often, it is the result of a minor crash and the infringement notice will be issued to any or all of the vehicles involved. This infringement notice carries with it three demerit points.

Negligent driving occasioning GBH or death are both very serious charges that carry with them maximum penalties of 9 months and 18 months imprisonment respectively. These charges carry with them the likelihood of a criminal conviction and lengthy loss of licence together with other penalties.

Where grievous bodily harm results

Negligent driving causing grievous bodily harm is a serious offence governed by section 117 of the Road Transport Act 2013. A person who commits this offence for the first time is liable to be imprisoned for up to nine months and/or fined up to 20 penalty units. An automatic license disqualification of three years also applies.

If a person commits this offence for a second time, they can be fined up to 50 penalty units and imprisoned for up to two years. 

Where death results

A person found guilty of this offence for the first time is liable to imprisonment for up to 18 months and/or a fine of up to 30 penalty units. A person found guilty of this offence a second time may be fined up to 50 penalty units and jailed for up to two years.

If you require legal advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

Fernanda Dahlstrom

This article was written by Fernanda Dahlstrom

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.

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