Common Traffic Offences
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3. Proof of careless driving

Even though it may seem very obvious that a driver’s act constitutes “carelessness”, the Court cannot simply say: “the facts speak for themselves” and then convict a person of careless driving.  The court must duly consider all the factual circumstances related to the incident and find evidence of carelessness.  The facts may be so prevalent, however, that the Court can draw an irresistible inference that, in the absence of a reasonable explanation, there must have been careless driving.  For example, in the absence of a reasonable explanation, the Court has drawn an inference of careless driving in the following cases:

  • where a vehicle knocked down a pedestrian crossing the road;
  • where a vehicle crossed the centre line, i.e. the single broken line in the middle of a road, and caused an accident;
  • where a driver lost control of the vehicle and it led to a collision; and 
  • where a vehicle pulled out from a side road and collided with other vehicles on the main road.

Of course, anybody being charged with a criminal offence has the right to remain silent. Nevertheless, if there is some basic evidence which may suggest carelessness, and the driver charged with the offence of careless driving has an explanation for the incident, this driver should be prepared to speak up and give evidence in Court to explain the circumstances and prove the absence of carelessness, otherwise the inference of careless driving can be inevitable.

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