Until now there was no official offence of 'causing serious injury by careless driving'; consequently when a careless driver caused serious injury, they could only be prosecuted for the offence of 'careless driving'. However the law has just got tougher for inattentive drivers whose actions result in injury to others. The new offence of ‘causing serious injury by careless driving’ (DVLA conviction code CD33) was introduced on 28 June 2022 as part of the new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act. It aims to close a perceived loophole in the difference between punishing ‘careless’ versus ‘dangerous’ driving. The new Act places greater emphasis on the extent of the injury rather than the extent of the carelessness and attaches harsher penalties the more significant the injury. The new law applies to both private and commercial vehicle drivers.
How is careless driving defined?
How will the new offence be punished?
Previously, an individual convicted of causing serious injury through careless driving would face a summary only offence; that is, disqualification and an unlimited fine.
Under the new law, there’ll be increased penalties with judges able to hand down lengthy custodial sentences as well as extended driving bans for the most extreme cases where ‘really serious bodily harm’ has occurred.
What does this mean for employers?
The Allianz view...
Allianz’s Head of Commercial Motor, Gerry Ross said:
“We support any action which seeks to make our roads safer and reduce the risk of accident and injury. The new law helps reinforce the message that careless and distracted driving remains a serious issue, posing danger to life.”