An Overview of the Penalties in Australia for Driving Carelessly

September 28, 2023    litigation lawyers
An Overview of the Penalties in Australia for Driving Carelessly

In Australia, when you drive without due attention, it’s viewed as an offence. The top civil litigation lawyers Perth who deal with careless driving cases have said that driving carelessly can lead to violations, which can cause severe injuries to someone.

The penalty for careless driving is also pretty stringent in various regions of the country. You might encounter penalties if you drive carelessly on the road.

Besides, you might get a penalty even if you did not harm or damage anything when driving. This clearly shows carelessness while driving the vehicle can get you sued by Australian law.

Things to Know about Due Care and Attention

To find out whether or not someone is guilty of careless driving, it’s important to satisfy the court by showing that the person was driving a vehicle without attention and due care.

To decide if it’s true or not, a test will be applied by the court. This clearly shows that checking the level of attention and care a driver will exercise within such situations.

The court has made it clear that attention and due care are required by the driver to display vigilance, caution, and watchfulness. The driver must also stay well aware that the other drivers will not drive a vehicle in an ideal way every time.

This is a question of verity, which only the governing magistrate can answer after they get to see and hear all the evidence.

The Offences That Take Place Due to Careless Driving

When you drive carelessly on the road, it can lead to several offences, which are:

  • Not noticing another motorcyclist or a vehicle when driving through the intersection.
  • Not leaving sufficient space for the other vehicle at the front.
  • Driving through an intersection when the traffic lights turned red when you thought it was green.
  • Failing to look properly while reversing right into another vehicle.
  • They are not stopping the vehicle at the stop sign.
  • Whether the conduct results in charges of reckless, dangerous, or careless driving, the police can only make a proper decision after seeing all the conditions of the case.

If you have been charged with reckless or dangerous driving, but your behavior accurately reflects the charge of careless driving, it’s possible to negotiate through a trial. Here, the negotiation will be based on the right charge that should be relieved.

What are the Penalties for Careless Driving?

For all the non-aggravated offenses, you will be fined up to 3 demerit points and AUD 2500. But for the aggravated offences, you will receive 6 months disqualification and an imprisonment of 12 months.

An aggravated offence takes place when the offender has done the following:

  • Caused severe harm or death to another individual.
  • Committed the offence to escape the police pursuit.
  • Kept driving while knowing that they were suspended or disqualified from driving.
  • They have a blood alcohol level over 0.08 during the stint of the felony.
  • The offender was driving the vehicle at high speed, with a prescribed drug present in the blood, or under the influence.
  • Driving a stolen vehicle during the time of the crime or driving a vehicle without the vehicle owner’s permission.
  • Committing the crime while being well aware that there was 1 or more than one passenger on or in another vehicle.
  • Committed the crime while having an interstate learner permit, interstate provisional license, learner’s permit, probationary license, or a provisional license.
  • Committed the crime while not having a valid learner’s permit or a driver’s license.

Reckless vs Careless Driving: Understanding the Difference

The primary difference between reckless and careless driving is how exactly the automobile is driven.

Under subsection 60 of the Act, it’s mentioned that an automobile is driven recklessly when it’s driven in a certain manner that is dangerous to the public or to any individual.

This involves a car being driven at a speed of over 155 km per hour on the road or at 45 km per hour over the actual speed limit.

You will only be charged when the way you were driving the vehicle during the time of offending is inherently dangerous to the general public.

Is Careless Driving Viewed as a Criminal Charge?

In Western Australia, all careless driving cases are dealt with under the Road Traffic Act. In other words, careless driving is a road traffic charge.

Even though it’s not handled under the Criminal Code in Western Australia, driving carelessly can lead to severe charges that come with criminal liability.

In Western Australia, careless driving is an offence where you will be fined 30 PU [Penalty Units], which is an AUD 600 fine.

The police officials have to show proof in court that you were driving your vehicle without attention or due care. But when compared to the risky driving charges, the police do not have to prove intent.

Can Doing Burnouts be Considered as an Offence?

According to Section 62 of the Road Traffic Act in Western Australia, burnouts on the road are viewed as an offence. The “Act” clearly states that when an individual wilfully drives a vehicle that causes its tires to produce excessive noise or smoke, it is an offense.

Even if the vehicle leaves behind substances on the driving surface of the car park, the length of the road, and at a confiscation zone, it is known as an offence.

What to Do If You Are Charged for Careless Driving?

Getting charged for driving carelessly will lead to various penalties, and you also have to pay a hefty fine for it. So, once you’re charged for driving carelessly, the top drink-driving lawyers will be at your service.

They are experts in dealing with these types of cases and will surely offer you their assistance without fail.

Furthermore, they will also give you a detailed explanation of careless driving and what type of penalties, charges, or fines are included in it.


Driving carelessly on the road is considered dangerous as it can put an individual’s life in danger. You might end up causing bodily harm and vehicle damage. If you’re been charged for careless driving, please contact the professional Litigation Lawyers for help. They have the knowledge, experience, and skills to handle such cases and will surely offer you their guidance and help on such matters effectively.

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