Careless Driving

Charges: Careless Driving (section 65 Road Safety Act). Dandenong Magistrates’ Court.

Facts: The client was driving a work van down the highway when he reached over to get some papers from the passenger foot well. He leaned too far and jerked the steering wheel right, causing the car to collide with orange markers separating a road works zone.

The client continued to knock down more than 50 markers, as he was concerned about re-entering traffic and colliding with other road users.

Results: The client was guilty of driving carelessly. He should have pulled over to get the paperwork rather than reaching over and causing the wheel to jerk.

However the client had no prior convictions. He simply exercised some poor judgment initially, but then chose to travel over the markers on the road rather than damage his own car or  put other road users at risk. Fortunately there were no road works going on at the time.

The reality is that sometimes people make mistakes. Given the client’s lack of history and taking into account other matters put on his behalf the Judicial Registrar chose to impose a fine only, and did not suspend the client’s driver’s licence.

There is no maximum period in relation to licence suspension. A Magistrate or Judicial Registrar can take a driver’s licence for whatever period they deem to be appropriate.

This was a fair outcome given the circumstances.