If you have been charged with careless driving, essentially, police are alleging you didn’t exercise the care and attention of a reasonable person whilst driving. This offence is made possible through Section 65 of the Road Safety Act 1986.

The good news is that out of the range of possible sentences that could be imposed, a fine is largely how a magistrate will proceed, however you should seek proper legal advice before attending court so that you can ascertain whether your unique facts and circumstances will suit the imposition of this sentence.

If you plead guilty to careless driving the offence carries 12 penalty units for first time offenders and 25 penalty units for subsequent offenders. Each penalty unit equates to approx $161.19 from 1 July 2018 to 30 June 2019.

Examples of when police may charge you with careless driving

  • If you are tailgating another car that leads to an accident
  • If you are not controlling your vehicle and swerve for no reason
  • If you are using your laptop or other devices
  • If you are distracted whilst eating and cause a collision


The defences to this charge is where that an emergency or extraordinary circumstance exists upon which caused your driving.

Another defence is where someone else was responsible for the driving.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at Jay & Co Barristers and Solicitors.