Careless Driving, Licence Saved
A road traffic collision often now also results in the party held responsible by the police being subsequently prosecuted for careless driving. Effectively what is being alleged is not only that someone caused the crash (which, of course, is remedied by the driver’s insurance company) but in addition that they were also criminally responsible and as such require to receive endorsement of their driving licence by way of penalty points or even a discretionary disqualification.
In this case the Crown set out a charge alleging that a car was driven without due care and attention, at an excessive speed and caused it to collide with a bus at a junction controlled by traffic lights. Our clients position was quite clear from the outset: oil on the road on the approach to the lights had reduced adhesion to an extent that he overshot the junction and hit the bus travelling across his path.
Extensive evidence was led at trial, including the photographs taken at the time confirming the presence of a substance on the road surface. The presiding Justice was in agreement with our submissions that this could quite properly be classed as an accident and as such no criminal liability should attach to our client, finding him not guilty of careless driving.
Accidents do happen, but where the prosecution alleges that events amount to something significantly more serious than that it is crucial that the defence is properly investigated and executed in court to ensure the Bench is able to make an informed, and correct, judgement.
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