About Road Traffic Offences & Penalties

About Road Traffic Offences & Penalties

About Road Traffic Offences & Penalties

A summary of the definitions of the more frequent offences and the penalties applied are contained below. Please click on the relevant offence. These are provided as a guide only. In all cases we recommend that you seek legal advice.

Dangerous driving

A person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if:

  1. The way he drives falls far below what will be expected of a competent and careful driver and;
  2. It will be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way he would be dangerous.

The standard of driving required is a fixed and objective one, namely that of a competent and careful driver and will apply to all drivers irrespective of their experience. For example the standard expected is the same for a learner driver holding a provisional licence as it is for an experienced or professional driver.

Defences

The defence of automatism may be relied upon by a defendant charged with the offence of dangerous driving if it can be shown that the defendants suffered a sudden mischance for which s/he was in no way to blame and which rendered him/her unconscious or otherwise prevented him/her from controlling the vehicle then the defendant will not be held to have been "driving". An example is a blow on the head from a stone rendering the defendant unconscious. The defence has also been known to extend to a sudden epileptic fit or loss of consciousness. This is however a complicated area of law with much case precedent and legal advice should be sought in connection with any proposed defence to these charges.

Click here and complete the enquiry screen if you require representation for this offence. Please have your driving licence and summons details with you when you complete the enquiry screen.

Offences and penalties for dangerous driving
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
DD40 Dangerous driving 3-11 Obligatory 2 years imprisonment or a fine or both (on indictment) RTA section 2
DD60 Manslaughter or culpable homicide while driving a vehicle 3-11 Obligatory 2 years imprisonment or a fine or both (on indictment) Offences against the person act 1861
DD80 Causing death by dangerous driving 3-11 Obligatory 2 years imprisonment or a fine or both (on indictment) RTA section 1

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Careless and inconsiderate driving

A defendant will have driven without due care and attention if his driving has departed from the standard of care and skill that would in the circumstances of the case, have been exercised by a reasonably prudent and competent driver. The application of the standard enables this offence to cover cases ranging from momentary lapses in concentration or minor errors of judgement to deliberate bad old dangerous driving. Because the standard expected is that of a reasonable, prudent and competent driver in all the circumstances of the case the test will vary according to the driving conditions. For example if there is poor weather, visibility or traffic conditions and these may affect the degree of care required.

Defences

Automatism - see dangerous driving

In certain circumstances there may be defences where a mechanical defect suddenly manifested itself causing total loss of control but if the defect was known to the defendant or should have been discovered by the defendent the defence will not be successful. If you have any potential defence falling into this category you should seek legal advice.

There is no defence of necessity or duress and similarly there is no defence that the defendant was reacting to a public emergency.

Click here and complete the enquiry screen if you require representation for this offence. Please have your driving licence and summons details with you when you complete the enquiry screen.

Offences and penalties for Careless and inconsiderate driving
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
CD10 Driving without due care and attention 3-9 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 RTA section 3
CD20 Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users 3-9 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 RTA section 3
CD30 Driving with out due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users 3-9 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 RTA section 3
CD40 Causing death through careless when unfit through drink 3-11 Obligatory 10 years or a fine or both RTA section 3A
CD50 Causing death by careless driving when unfit through drugs 3-11 Obligatory 10 years or a fine or both RTA section 3A
CD70 Causing death by careless driving when failing to supply a specimen for analysis 3-11 Obligatory 6 Months or a level 5 fine or both RTA section 3

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Drink or drug impairment

Offences and penalties for Drink or drug impairment
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
DR10 Driving or attempting to drive with alcohol level above the limit 3-11 12 months minimum 6 Months imprisonment or fine up to £5000 or both RTA section 5 (1)(a)
DR30 Driving or attempting to drive and then failing to supply a specimen for analysis 3-11 12 months minimum 6 Months imprisonment or fine up to £5000 or both RTA section 7v
DR40 In charge of a vehicle while alcohol level above limit 10 Discretionary 3 Month imprisonment or fine up to £2500 or both RTA section 5 (1)(b)
DR50 In charge of a vehicle while unfit through drink 10 Discretionary 3 Months imprisonment RTA section 4
DR60 Failing to a specimen for analysis in circumstances other than driving or attempting to drive 10 Discretionary 3 Months imprisonment or fine up to £2500 or both RTA section 7
DR70 Failing to supply a specimen for breath test 10 12 months minimum 6 Months imprisonment or fine up to £5000 or both RTA section 7
DR80 Causing Driving or attempting to drive when unfit through drugs 3-11 12 months minimum 6 Months imprisonment or fine up to £5000 or both RTA section 4 (1)
DR90 In charge of vehicle when unfit through drugs 10 Discretionary 3 Months imprisonment or fine up to £2500 or both RTA section 4 (2)

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Accident offences

These offences occur where there has been an accident between your vehicle and another or where your driving has caused an accident between two other vehicles.

Offences and penalties for Accident offences
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
AC10 Failing to stop after an accident 5-10 Discretionary 6 Months RTA section 170
AC20 Failing to give particulars or to report and accident withing 24 hours 5-10 Discretionary Fine up to £5000 RTA section 170 (4)

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Driver identity

If you are the owner of a vehicle you are required to provide details of the identity of the driver of the other vehicle following an accident.

Offences and penalties for Driver identity
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
  Failure to give Police information as to identity of driver 3 Discretionary Fine up to £1000 RTA section 172

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Driving licences

The following relate to driving restrictions on your licence.

Offences and penalties for dangerous driving
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
LC20 Otherwise in accordance with a driving license 3-6 Discretionary Fine up to £1000  
LC30 Driving after making a false declaration about fitness when applying for a license 3-6 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 RTA section 92 (10)
LC40 Driving a vehicle when having failed to notify of a disability 3-6 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 RTA section 94 (3A)
LC50 Driving after a license has been revoked or refused on medical grounds 3-6 Discretionary 6 Months or fine up to £5000 RTA section 94 (3A)

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Insurance

Driving a vehicle without any policy of assurance to indemnify you against Third Party risk is an offence.

Offences and penalties for insurance
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
IN10 Using a vehicle uninsured against third-party risks 6-8 Discretionary Fine up to £5000  

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Excess speed, Traffic signs and directions

Breach of the above gives rise to the following offences.

Offences and penalties for Excess speed, Traffic signs and directions
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
SP10 Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits 3-6 Discretionary    
SP20 Exceeding the speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicle) 3-6 Discretionary Fine up to £1000 RTA section 92 (10)
SP30 Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road 3-6 Discretionary Fine Fine up to £1000 RTA section 94 (3A)
SP50 Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit 3-6 Discretionary   RTA section 94 (3A)
SP60 Exceeding speed limit on a motorway 3-6 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 RTA section 94 (3A)
TS10 Undefined speed limit offence 3-6 Discretionary   RTA section 94 (3A)
TS20 Failing to comply with traffic light signals 3 Discretionary Fine up to £1000 RTA section 94 (3A)
TS30 Failing to comply with double white lines 3 Discretionary Fine up to £1000 RTA section 94 (3A)
TS40 Failing to comply with "Stop" sign 3 Discretionary Fine up to £1000 RTA section 94 (3A)
TS50 Failing to comply with the traffic sign (excluding stop signs, traffic lights or double white lines) 3 Discretionary Fine up to £1000 RTA section 94 (3A)
TS60 Failing to comply with school crossing patrol sign 3 Discretionary   RTA section 94 (3A)
TS70 Undefined failure to comply with a traffic direction sign 3 Discretionary Fine up to £1000 RTA section 94 (3A)

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Obstruction and parking offences

There are numerous offences here but the most serious resulting in a summons are listed below.

Offences and penalties for Obstruction and parking offences
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
  Leaving vehicle in a dangerous position 3 Discretionary   RTA section 22

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Disqualified drivers

The punishment for driving whilst disqualified is detailed below.

Offences and penalties for Obstruction and parking offences
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment Provision creating the offence
BA10 Driving while disqualified by order of the court 6 Discretionary 6 Months or fine up to £5000 or both RTA section 103 (1)(b)

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Construction and use offences

These relate to PSV and HGV drivers.

Offences and penalties for dangerous driving
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment
CU10 Using a vehicle with defective brakes 3 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 or fine up to £5000 if goods vehicle or vehicle adapted to carry more than 8 passengers
CU20 Causing or likely to cause a danger by reason of the use of unsuitable vehicle or using a vehicle with parts or accessories (excluding brakes steering old timers) in a dangerous condition 3 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 or fine up to £5000 if goods vehicle or vehicle adapted to carry more than 8 passengers
CU30 Using a vehicle with defective tyres 3 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 or fine up to £5000 if goods vehicle or vehicle adapted to carry more than 8 passengers
CU40 Using a vehicle with defective steering 3 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 or fine up to £5000 if goods vehicle or vehicle adapted to carry more than 8 passengers
CU50 Causing or likely to cause a danger by reason of load or passengers 3 Discretionary Fine up to £2500 or fine up to £5000 if goods vehicle or vehicle adapted to carry more than 8 passengers

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"Totting up"

Under the totting up provisions a driver can be disqualified where he/she accumulates 12 or more penalty points within a three year period.

If you reach 12 points within the 3 year period (and it is the date of the offences and not the hearing date which is relevant) then you will be disqualified for a minimum period of 6 months.

If you are then disqualified the slate is wiped clean of points at the date you get your licence back.

To avoid being banned for totting up you will need to be able to convince the court that there are mitigating circumstances. This means that you will have to show that a disqualification would cause exceptional hardship. The loss of your job could be considered to be exceptional hardship as could the loss of employment for others dependant upon you or hardship to members of your family.

Offences and penalties involving Totting up
Code Offence Endorsable points Disqualification Maximum punishment
TT99 To signify a disqualification under totting up procedure. If the total of penalty points reaches 12 or more within 3 years the driver is liable to be disqualified 3-6 Discretionary 6 months ban plus

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