Careless Driving Lawyers in Glasgow

Careless driving is an offence under section 3 of the Road Traffic Act with potentially serious consequences. Our solicitors will do everything we can to keep you on the road.

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Trusted Legal Advice for Careless Driving

Charges of careless driving can occur following a variety of accidents on the road. It doesn’t matter your age or driving experience, you can be charged with careless driving if it is believed that you do not have a reasonable level of care expected as a driver. 

At Kilcoyne Solicitors, we understand how points on your licence, or a driving ban, can jeopardise your ability to work, your commitment to family responsibilities, and your car insurance agreements. That’s why our careless driving solicitors work hard to provide our clients expert legal advice and steadfast defence in court if you find yourself charged with careless driving.

What is Careless Driving in Scotland?

Careless driving in Scotland constitutes a violation under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. In the last decade, there has been a notable increase in charges, a surge that is likely due to an expansion of police authority. As of August 2013, police officers are now able to administer Conditional Offers of Fixed Penalties for instances of careless driving, as per Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. This means that minor accidents, that previously would have been resolved between individuals and insurers, are now being brought before the courts.

Careless driving covers a range of driving behaviours including 

  • careless manoeuvres
  • failure to comply with traffic signals 
  • pushing into a traffic queue
  • undertaking another vehicle 
  • lane hogging 
  • and even clipping a curb. 


On the more severe end of the scale, it also includes driving that results in an accident, as well as driving that causes another driver to take action against you. 

Under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, careless driving is defined in Section 3ZA as operating a motor vehicle on a road in a manner that doesn’t meet the expected standards of a competent and cautious driver, or showing a lack of reasonable consideration for other road users. Essentially, for an act to be considered as careless driving, it must demonstrate a departure from the expected conduct of a reasonably careful and competent driver given the specific circumstances of the case.

The degree of fault attributable to the driver determines the sentence imposed. Offences of this nature can vary from speeding and minor collisions to major accidents. The prosecution would consider the degree of fault to fall short of dangerous driving.

How can a Careless Driving Solicitor Help?

Being charged with careless driving might feel like a done deal, however, every citizen has a right to fair defence, and there is always an opportunity to challenge your charge. Having an experienced careless driving lawyer by your side is indispensable when it comes to navigating the complex legislation around carless driving charges, and challenging them.

At Neil Kilcoyne Solicitors, our expert lawyers are dedicated to fighting your corner and ensuring that you have the legal advice you need to feel confident during the legal process. We’ll stand by you every step of the way, guiding you through the full span of the process, which includes:

✅ Understanding relevant legislation

✅ Explaining legal jargon in real terms

✅ Foreseeing any likely evidence based counter-arguments

✅ Offering advice on feasible defence outcomes, and likely outcomes

✅ Offering advice on any other road traffic related penalities that could arise off the back of the careless driving charge

✅ Expert representation in court

Your well-being is our priority, and our team is committed to securing the best possible outcome for you. Get in touch for a free, no-obligation telephone consultation, and a member of our team will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Penalties for a Careless Driving Charge in Scotland

You might be offered a conditional fixed penalty for careless driving, which allows you to resolve the issue by accepting three penalty points on your licence along with a £100 fine. By accepting and paying the fine, you can avoid going to court. However, if you decide not to accept the fixed penalty, you have the option to contest the charge in court.

Generally, conditional fixed penalties are offered for less severe cases of careless driving. If you already have more than nine points on your licence, you won’t be eligible for the penalty and will have to appear in court.

If your case goes to court, and you’re found guilty of careless driving, you could receive anywhere from three to nine penalty points on your licence, depending on the circumstances. The number of points already on your licence will also be taken into account, and you might face disqualification from driving if you accumulate 12 points within three years (a process known as ‘totting up’). If you’ve been driving for less than two years and accumulate six points, your licence could be revoked.

Get in Touch With Our Solicitors

Just because an accident has occurred, does not necessarily mean that someone is guilty of careless driving. If you have been accused of careless driving, get in touch with our motoring solicitors at Neil Kilcoyne Soliciors, and we can provide expert legal advice for your case. 

We can also help with drink-driving, drunk in charge, and driving uninsured cases.

Free, no-obligation consultation

If you have been charged with a road traffic offence, you need to take advice right away. We have solicitors available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for advice.


Due to the varieties of behaviour, the potential penalties for careless driving reflect this. Depending on the severity of the offence, you could expect a sentence ranging from 3 to 9 penalty points, to the option of discretionary disqualification. If careless driving causes a death, a prison sentence is a very real possibility.

To prove a violation under Section 3, the prosecutor must demonstrate that the accused’s driving did not meet the standard expected of a competent and cautious driver. If a collision occurs and there’s no evidence of mechanical issues, driver illness, or any other explanation for the collision, a charge of careless driving may be filed, provided there is sufficient evidence to demonstrate how the incident occurred. To gather evidence against you, the police may use eyewitness statements, CCTV, or physical evidence.

The police do not need to directly witness careless driving to issue a driver a charge. What we mean by this, is that you can be reported for careless driving by another member of the public who were either involved in or witnessed the event. The police will investigate this claim, and, if there is sufficient evidence, can issue a careless driving charge.

If offence codes are issued, they will stay on a driving licence for four years from the date of the offence.

The police have a twelve-month window from the date of the offence to either settle the issue through a Fixed Penalty Notice or submit documents to the court. It’s a common misconception that not receiving court papers within six months is a defence — this will not hold up in court, or negate your case. However, the police only need to initiate the process within this timeframe.

It’s natural to be worried about your job opportunities after a conviction. Driving offences subject to Fixed Penalties won’t appear on standard DBS checks, unless an Enhanced check is required for a position where this information is pertinent. However, more severe offences will be visible on all types of DBS checks unless they become spent, in which case they won’t be displayed on Basic DBS checks.