Dangerous driving

Dangerous driving

Dangerous driving is a serious motoring offence. If you have been charged with dangerous driving, you should seek the help and advice of an experienced road traffic solicitor at the earliest opportunity. Similarly, if you are to be questioned by the Police in connection with an allegation of dangerous driving, you should not do so without speaking first to a solicitor with experience in cases of this type. 

To be found guilty of dangerous driving the prosecution must prove that the driver has driven in a way that ‘falls far below what would be expected of a careful and competent driver’. 

A charge of dangerous driving can be brought against a driver for a variety of reasons including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Driving at high speeds
  • Aggressive driving
  • Overtaking where it is illegal to do so
  • Ignoring road signs or traffic markings-
  • Driving a vehicle which is not road worth
  • Driving under the influence of excess alcohol or under the influence of drugs.

Very often a charge of dangerous driving will involve more than one of the above.


 Dangerous driving is not just restricted to the manner in which you drive. A person can be regarded as driving dangerously if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous. For example, if a person is aware that their vehicle has defective brakes but drives their vehicle anyway, and they are then involved in an accident, this could be regarded as dangerous driving. 

Section 2 of the Road Traffic Act makes it a criminal offence to drive a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place.

Due to the serious nature of a charge for dangerous driving a case can be heard in either the Magistrates Court or Crown Court. 

In assessing seriousness, the court is likely to take into consideration some or all of the following contributory factors: 

Whether you were aware of the risks associated with the manner of your driving 

The effect of any alcohol or drugs you consumed 

The speed of your vehicle 

Your behaviour e.g. aggressive driving or using a mobile telephone 

Whether the victim was a vulnerable road user, such as a pedestrian or cyclist


The penalties are

 Obligatory driving ban for a minimum of one year

 In certain circumstances between 3 and 11 penalty points can be issued

 In the most serious cases a prison sentence of up to 2 years may be imposed. A driver convicted of dangerous driving will also have to sit an extended re-test before they are allowed to drive again.