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This article was written by Michelle Makela - Legal Practice Director

Michelle has over 15 years experience in the legal industry, working across commercial litigation, criminal law, family law and estate planning.  Michelle has been involved in all practice areas of the firm and in her personal practice has had experience in litigation at all levels (state and federal industrial tribunals, the Supreme Court, Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, Federal...

Careless Driving


In Victoria, the maximum penalty for careless driving is a fine of up to 12 penalty units for a first offence and a fine of up to 25 penalty units for a second or subsequent offence. The offence of careless criving is contained in section 65 of the Road Safety Act 1986 which states: “A person who drives a motor vehicle on a highway carelessly is guilty of an offence.”

What Actions Might Constitute Careless Driving?

Actions that could be deemed careless driving include:

  • failing to do a proper head-check;
  • remaining stationary at traffic lights for a period of time after the lights have turned green;
  • driving too fast in slippery road conditions;
  • swerving into another lane without indicating.

What The Police Must Prove

To convict you of careless driving, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • you were driving a motor vehicle; and
  • while driving that motor vehicle, you failed to exercise the degree of care and attention that a reasonable and prudent driver would exercise in the circumstances.

Possible Defences For Careless Driving

Possible defences to a charge of careless driving include but are not limited to:

  • identity dispute;
  • factual dispute (in other words, you were driving with a reasonable amount of care).

Which Court Will Hear Your Matter?

Careless driving is a summary offence and will be heard at the Magistrates’ Court.

For advice or representation in any legal matter, please contact Armstrong Legal.

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