Have you been charged with dangerous driving in WA?

Have you been charged with dangerous driving in WA?

Dangerous Driving is potentially a very serious offence and depending upon the circumstances and outcome, may attract a term of imprisonment.

It is defined in section 61 of the Road Traffic Act 1974 as driving “in a manner (which expression includes speed) that is, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, dangerous to the public or to any person”. Some examples of behaviours which could be regarded as dangerous driving include the following:

  • driving at an excessive speed;
  • falling asleep whilst driving;
  • loss of control of a vehicle;
  • driving in a manner which is inherently dangerous to others on the road; and
  • failing to stop where a driver is required to do so.

In short, the manner of driving must be determined to be be unsafe under all of the circumstances, and it usually requires an element of danger or risk to the person themselves or to another road user.

The penalties which could be imposed by a Court are as follow, although note that these penalties will differ according to whether it is a person’s first or subsequent dangerous driving offence and whether he or she has any other traffic convictions which are considered to be a prior offence according to the provisions of the relevant legislation. To check this point will require a copy of your up-to-date History for Court document (aka criminal record).  

For a first offence there is a maximum fine of $3,000.00. If a person charged is a P Plater, then the Court also has the power under section 16 of Road Traffic (Authorisation to Drive) Act to cancel that person’s driving licence and disqualify him or her from holding or obtaining a licence for a period of 3 months. The Department of Transport will also apply 6demerit points to any person who holds a full driving licence following any conviction by a Court for this offence.

For a subsequent offence there is a maximum fine of $6,000.00, a potential prison term of up to 9 months, and a minimum disqualification of at least 12 months. The actual penalties which will be imposed by a Court will depend upon a range of factors such as the person’s criminal record, the circumstances surrounding and leading up to the offence, and a person’s individual circumstances.

Finally, if you have read this far and think that you need some practical advice or assistance in relation to your situation, then now is probably the time to get in touch. Austral Legal can help and we offer an initial discounted 30-minute SmartMove appointment for $80 by phone or in person at our office. Bookings can be made online through our website or simply by phoning our office on 08 9745 9550. Once we have a handle on what is required, we may well be able to offer a fixed fee for any further legal services, giving you cost certainty from the start. Austral Legal. Practical advice.