• How to Report Dangerous or Careless Driving

How to Report Dangerous or Careless Driving

All you need to know about dangerous and careless driving

When you’re a careful, responsible driver yourself, it can be difficult to understand how others can take their own safety and that of those around them so lightly; and even harder to see it. Whilst we always hope that the law catches up with dangerous or careless drivers at some point, we do have the power to make it happen quicker by reporting dangerous or careless driving when we see it. In this article we highlight what dangerous driving actually is and the penalties inconsiderate drivers face. Read on to find out more. 

What’s classed as dangerous driving? 

Dangerous driving is any behaviour behind the wheel that is seen as far below the standard expected of careful and competent drivers that could be seen to endanger the lives of themselves, other road users, and/or pedestrians. 

This serious label is applied to offences such as:

  • Racing other road users
  • Driving aggressively
  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Driving drunk or under the influence of drugs
  • Ignoring road signs and signals
  • Driving whilst using a mobile phone, or distracted by something in the car  

What are the penalties for dangerous driving? 

Seen as the most serious motoring offence (second only to killing or injuring someone), dangerous drivers could see themselves disqualified from driving for at least 12 months, with the possibility of a stint in prison too. It’s no small conviction! 

On top of this, you could be looking at an unlimited fine, and points on your licence when you do get it back. 

If dangerous driving causes the injury or death of another person, you could be looking at up to 14 years in prison, an unlimited fine, points on your licence, a two-year driving ban, and an extended re-test before you can get that licence back. 

How is dangerous driving different from careless driving? 

Careless driving is a level of severity below dangerous driving, and is classed as driving that is below the standard expected of careful and competent drivers, as opposed to far below. This is still cause for concern, and is seen as driving without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for others; it’s still a punishable offence. 

Behaviour that could class as careless driving includes:

  • Sudden braking 
  • Tailgating 
  • Undertaking
  • Cutting across in front of another driver
  • Flashing your lights to force another driver to give way
  • Lane hogging (staying in the overtaking lane unnecessarily)
  • Failing to dip your beams and dazzling other drivers

What are the penalties for careless driving? 

Those caught driving carelessly can expect a minimum fine of £100, plus three points on their licence. For serious offences that go to court, more points could be added, and, in some cases, disqualification could be considered. 

How do you report dangerous or careless driving? 

Seeing dangerous driving can compel you to report it in a bid to prevent it from causing serious injury - or worse. You can do this in one of several ways, depending on the way the local police force operates. 

For example, many police forces will have an online portal through which you can report dangerous driving. An alternative is to contact the non-emergency line on 101. In any instance, if you’re driving, you must wait until it’s safe to do so to make a phone call, or go online.  

What information do you need to report dangerous or careless driving? 

In order for the police to act, they’ll need as much information as possible about the incident. The minimum you’d need is the make, model and registration of the vehicle, as well as a description of what happened, where it happened, and potentially what the driver looked like.

Some online portals have media upload facilities, which means that you can submit images and videos too. If a passenger was able to film the incident, or you have any dashcam footage, you could be able to back up your report with this evidence too. 

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