COVID-19 - We are open for business and here to help ->

Call us now

  • Paisley 01418896458Existing Clients: 0141 889 6458
  • Greenock 01475888286Existing Clients: 01475 888 286

Careless Driving Offences

Charges of careless driving can occur following a variety of different accidents on the road. Regardless of your age or driving experience, you can be charged with this offence if it’s believed you have not exercised a reasonable level of care that would be expected of a driver. Our specialist Road Traffic Lawyers are well known for our successes in careless driving trials.

If you have been charged with careless driving, get in touch with us today for free, initial advice and representation. You can contact us by completing our online enquiry form and we will get back to you right away.

What is Careless Driving?

The law on careless driving is set out under section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. A person is considered guilty of the offence if they drive “on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place”.

Examples of circumstances which may give rise to a careless charge include:

  • Failing to comply with traffic signals
  • Driving too close to another road user
  • Undertaking another vehicle
  • Emerging into the path of another vehicle from a side road

The legal test for whether the offence of careless driving has been committed is also set out in the 1988 Act.

The level of driving must have fallen below what could be expected of a careful and competent driver. The court will assess all of the relevant circumstances, including road conditions, road markings, the reliability of any eyewitness accounts and even weather conditions. The actions of the driver will be considered in the context of the circumstances to determine whether the offence of dangerous driving has been committed.

Penalties for Careless Driving in Scotland

You may receive a conditional offer of fixed penalty for careless driving. This allows you to settle the matter with three points on your licence and a fine of £100. Once you accept the offer and pay the fine, your case will not go to court. However, if you choose not to accept the fixed penalty, you can challenge the charge in court.

Typically, you will only receive a conditional offer of fixed penalty for less serious instances of careless driving. If you have more than nine points on your licence, you will not be able to accept the penalty and you will need to go to court.

If your case proceeds to court and you are found guilty of careless driving, you may receive between three and nine penalty points on your licence depending on the circumstances. The number of points you already have on your licence will also be a factor, and you could be disqualified from driving as a result of ‘totting up’. Totting up occurs where you receive 12 points on your licence within three years. If you are within the first two years of passing your driving test and get six points on your licence, your licence can also be revoked.

Additionally, the court may choose to impose a fine. The fine can be anything up to £5,000 depending on the severity of the offence, but typically fines are rarely this high.

Contact our Road Traffic Lawyers Paisley & Greenock for a Free Consultation

Our Road Traffic Lawyers in Paisley and Greenock have decades of experience and success with road traffic offences, including careless driving, dangerous driving, drink driving, speeding, driving without insurance, driving with a mobile phone, and totting up. We cover Glasgow, Greenock, Port Glasgow, Kilmacolm, Gourock, Inverclyde, Renfrewshire, Barrhead, Newton Mearns, East Renfrewshire & every police station and court in Scotland.

Contact us as soon as you have been charged, received a fixed penalty or been involved in an accident for free, initial legal advice 24 hours per day. Call us in Paisley on 01418896458 or Greenock on 01475888286 or fill out our online form and we will call you back shortly.

Bail Undertakings

Have the police released you to attend court at a later date? We can advise and appear with you.

Police Station Consultations

You have the right to a solicitor if you have been detained for interview. We will attend or advise you.

Get in touch


We represent our clients daily in any court in Scotland. If you have been charged, we can help.






Please let us know your name.



Please enter a valid phone number



Please let us know your email address.



Please let us know your message.

Please tick the box below to confirm

Invalid Input





Make your defence our business. Initial expert legal advice is free! Fill out our online form or call us 24/7.

Call us now

  • Paisley 01418896458Existing Clients: 0141 889 6458
  • Greenock 01475888286Existing Clients: 01475 888 286