Negligent Dangerous Driving

Dangerous Driving and Negligent Driving

Dangerous Driving
Section 52A Crimes Act 1900 sets out the following offences:
52A Dangerous driving: substantive matters
(1) Dangerous driving occasioning death
A person is guilty of the offence of dangerous driving occasioning death if the vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning the death of another person and the driver was, at the time of the impact, driving the vehicle:
(a) under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug, or
(b) at a speed dangerous to another person or persons, or
(c) in a manner dangerous to another person or persons.
A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.2) Aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death
A person is guilty of the offence of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death if the person commits the offence of dangerous driving occasioning death in circumstances of aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.(3) Dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm
A person is guilty of the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning grievous bodily harm to another person and the driver was, at the time of the impact, driving the vehicle:
(a) under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug, or
(b) at a speed dangerous to another person or persons, or
(c) in a manner dangerous to another person or persons.
A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.(4) Aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm
A person is guilty of the offence of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the person commits the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm in circumstances of aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 11 years.

Guideline judgment
The guideline judgment in R v Whyte (2002) 55 NSWLR 252, provides as follows:
A typical case
A frequently recurring case of an offence under s 52A has the following characteristics:
(i) young offender
(ii) of good character with no or limited prior convictions
(iii) death or permanent injury to a single person
(iv) the victim is a stranger
(v) no or limited injury to the driver or the driver’s intimates
(vi) genuine remorse
(vii) plea of guilty of limited utilitarian value.
Guideline with respect to custodial sentences
A custodial sentence will usually be appropriate unless the offender has a low level of moral culpability, as in the case of momentary inattention or misjudgment

Aggravating factors
(i) extent and nature of the injuries inflicted
(ii) number of people put at risk
(iii) degree of speed
(iv) degree of intoxication or of substance abuse
(v) erratic or aggressive driving
(vi) competitive driving or showing off
(vii) length of the journey during which others were exposed to risk
(viii) ignoring of warnings
(ix) escaping police pursuit
(x) degree of sleep deprivation
(xi) failing to stop.
Items (iii) to (xi) relate to the moral culpability of an offender.

Negligent Driving
There are three levels of negligent driving NSW offences that the police may charge a driver with – negligent driving; negligent driving occasioning grievous bodily harm; and negligent driving causing death. Penalties can range from fines, disqualification periods and imprisonment depending on what type of negligent driving offence you have been charged with.

What the Court must take into account in assessing the likely penalty for negligent driving is the degree of negligence and, where relevant, the type and extent of any injuries sustained by anyone as a result of the negligence.

Our Lawyers are experienced in negligent driving cases. We carefully analyse your case and advise you not only what penalties to expect if pleading guilty, but also if you can defend your matter (and therefore be found “not guilty”) or have the charge reduced to a lesser offence.