Common Traffic Offences
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1. “without due care and attention”

When dealing with the question of whether a driver has driven “without due care and attention”, the Court will ask: whether the driver was exercising the degree of care and attention that a reasonable and prudent driver would exercise in the circumstances.  So the next question will naturally be: what is “reasonable”? 

The Court will answer the above questions from an objective perspective.  For example, if a driver went through a red light, it is almost certain from an objective point of view that such an act was not up to the standard of a reasonable and prudent driver.  Personal and non-objective factors such as the driver’s driving experience or state of mind will not be taken into account. 

That is to say, if this driver was an experienced one, he could not argue: “I am an experienced driver of good record and have always been driving reasonably and prudently; that act was merely a momentary lapse of mind.”  If this driver was an inexperienced one, he could not argue: “Sorry, I only obtained my driving licence two weeks ago; please excuse me for my inexperience”. 

Similarly, it does not matter whether the driver was going through the red light deliberately or absent-mindedly.  The Court will simply ask itself whether the act of going through the red light amounts to an act below the standard of a reasonable and prudent driver.  But of course the act of deliberately jumping a red light is definitely more serious and will likely constitute dangerous driving. 

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