Common Traffic Offences
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4. Some typical examples of careless driving

Since an objective perspective will be adopted when deciding whether or not there is “carelessness”,it is not difficult, by objective standards, to provide some examples of acts that are unreasonable and would be considered careless. Drivers may find the Road Users’ Code — published by the Transport Department — a useful and objective reference on “carelessness”. Section 109(5) of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong) provides that while failure to observe provisions of the Code does not necessarily lead to criminal liability, such failure may be relied upon in legal proceedings “as tending to establish or negate any liability which is in question in those proceedings”.  Since a driver is supposed to comply with the Road Users’ Code , a breach of the same may be considered prima facie (That is, evidence that looks sufficient to prove the case, unless substantial contradictory evidence is presented at trial) evidence of careless driving.

  1. Failing to keep a safe distance and rear-end collisions
  2. Failing to check when reversing
  3. Unsafe overtaking
  4. Knocking down pedestrians

While the above acts illustrate examples of careless driving, every case or accident is surrounded by its own facts and circumstances specific to that particular accident, and therefore those examples above are only for reference.  Generally speaking, drivers are recommended to follow the advice set out in the Road Users’ Code.

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