Dangerous driving is defined in the Road Traffic Act 1974, section 61, as driving a vehicle in a way that is dangerous to a person or the public. In Western Australia, the term reckless, dangerous, and careless is used interchangeably for driving offences. Lawyers for driving offences should be consulted in such cases. Read on to know about the differences between the terms and penalties for different offences.
The court will look objectively at different factors to determine whether the driving was a danger potentially or actually a danger to the public or another person. Some of these factors might include:
- Driving quality and nature
- The Traffic at that time
- The number of pedestrians at that time
- the road condition
- Condition of the weather
- Tiredness and health of the driver
- The driver’s experience in the vehicle, and
- If the driver was familiar with that road.
Any individual convicted by the court must appoint an expert dangerous driving lawyer in Perth to represent them in such cases.
Hoon driving is an example of dangerous driving in Australia. It is covered by the tough ‘Hoon Laws’ of Australia. It generally occurs when a driver drives at high speed or in a way that is greatly dangerous. It might also include:
- If the tyres are caused to lose traction intentionally
- If the vehicle is caused to make excessive smoke or noise
- When the speed limit is exceeded by 45 km/h or more
- Engaging in a speed trial or race on a public space or a road
- Vehicles being driven in a dangerous or reckless way, like doing racing, burnouts.
WA police can seize the vehicles of drivers found racing or doing burnouts in a public place. They might also impound the vehicle if the speed limit is exceeded by 45 km/h or more.
If you have your vehicle impounded by the police in WA, you will be needed to bear the costs of towing and storage. Traffic Lawyers Perth are experts in saving your car from getting impounded in such situations.
Road Safety Act, Section 61(3), states that a dangerous driving offence can attract a penalty of
$800 in case of a first offence, going up to $2,000 and/or imprisonment of 9 months, or a licence suspension for 12 months.
When a person is found guilty of an offense under section 61 of the Act, sub-section 4 states that
If that person has any prior charges against him/her under sections 59, 59 A, or 60, they shall be taken into account, and their previous charges would not be excluded.
If a person is charged with any offence under section 61, they may be convicted against section 62, 62A, depending on the situation of the offence.
Reckless driving is dealt with in section 60 of the Road Traffic Act. It is stated in subsection (1): ‘Every person who wilfully drives a motor vehicle in a manner (which expression includes speed) that is inherently dangerous or that is, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, dangerous to the public or to any person commits an offence’. It is further stated in subsection (1a) that if driving a vehicle at speed equal to or more than 155 km/h is considered to be an offence.
The maximum fine is $6,000 for the first offence. The driver’s license must get disqualified for at least six months. He or she might also face imprisonment of 9 months. With subsequent offences, these penalties get increased. The court might also get the vehicle that was involved in the offence impounded. The vehicle also might get confiscated in some cases. You might also face a sentence of at least six months of imprisonment if you are charged with reckless driving while attempting to escape police pursuing you.
If a person drives a motor vehicle without attention and care commits an offence under section 62. It also declares that a person who drives a vehicle on a road or car park to cause excessive noise or smoke with tyre’s or a substance on the surface on which it is driven, an offence is committed under this section.
If you have been charged with reckless, careless or dangerous driving, it is important to remember that you may be charged under any section of the act. You might receive a loftier sentence and also an imprisonment term. Hire an expert Traffic Lawyers Perth to represent you in court and help you reach an outcome in your favour.