The Road Traffic Act 1988, Section 3


Official U.K. Legislation:

The Road Traffic Act 1988, Section 3

"If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence."

The Legal Test:

The Road Traffic Act 1988, Section 3ZA - Meaning of Careless or Inconsiderate Driving

  1. This section has effect for the purposes of sections 2B and 3 above and section 3A below.
  2. A person is to be regarded as driving without due care and attention if (and only if) the way he drives falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver.
  3. In determining for the purposes of subsection (2) above what would be expected of a careful and competent driver in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.
  4. A person is to be regarded as driving without reasonable consideration for other persons only if those persons are inconvenienced by his driving.

Careless Driving FAQs

Penalties For Careless Driving:

A driver convicted of a contravention of section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 faces a penalty points endorsement in the range 3 to 9 points. The Court also has a power of discretionary disqualification.

A Court may also impose a fine of up to £5,000 and/or a community payback order.

The Court does not have the power to impose a custodial sentence upon a driver convicted of careless driving.

Examples of Careless Driving:

  1. Undertaking another vehicle
  2. Driving too close to another vehicle
  3. Failing to observe a traffic signal
  4. Emerging into the path of another vehicle from a side road

Examples of Inconsiderate Driving:

  1. Misusing lane system to gain advantage in traffic or 'lane hogging'
  2. Flashing headlights or dazzling other drivers with full beam headlights
  3. Driving through puddles causing water to splash on pedestrians
  4. Driving too slowly
  5. Braking without reason to do so

Official Legal Advice in Scotland

The Road Traffic Lawyer

Michael Lyon Solicitors

Michael Lyon Solicitors Limited is a team of highly specialised and experienced road traffic lawyers representing clients charged with motoring offences throughout Scotland. We hold a unique position in the market place due to our outstanding track record for successfully defending road traffic cases over the last decade. We restricted our practice solely to the defence of road traffic prosecutions in 2007 and have not looked back since. Our head office is located on High Street in Glasgow and our second office opened in Dumfries, directly across from Dumfries Justice of the Peace and Sheriff Court, back in 2011 to deal with the high number of speeding prosecutions emanating from the M74.

Over the years we have represented a broad range of clients from Police Officers to politicians and provided expert legal assistance in relation to thousands of road traffic cases in Scotland. Aside from regularly appearing in the Scottish media on matters of road traffic law over the last decade, Michael Lyon is also the accredited Consultant on the Road Traffic Offences and Disqualification section of The Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia, considered to be an essential text for solicitors practising road traffic law in Scotland.

If you are facing prosecution for any road traffic offence in Scotland, from dangerous driving down to a simple speeding charge, contact us today for expert legal representation. We can resolve many cases over the telephone free of charge.

Should the case merit legal representation, we will provide a clear fixed fee quotation to secure the services of our team of expert road traffic lawyers.

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