Careless driving is a type of driving misconduct, but this does not mean that dangerous driving and careless driving are the same. One big difference is that dangerous driving is a criminal offence that is under the Criminal Code of Canada and will be on your criminal record if you are convicted. Whereas, careless driving offences will only appear on your driving record and not your criminal record because they are under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act.
We will talk about the main differences between careless driving and careless driving causing bodily harm in Ontario in this article brought to you by Calvin Barry Law.
What Is Careless Driving?
Careless driving is a ticket fence issued by police officers under Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act. The police will issue the careless driving traffic ticket when they believe that a driver is doing any of the following:
- Driving in a way that limits the ability of the driver to change or adjust according to circumstances on the road
- Driving without care and attention
- Driving in an irresponsible and unsafe manner such as when you’re driving too fast for the current road conditions, when you’re following the next vehicle too closely and not ensuring that you have time to stop, when you’re distracted by electronic devices such as your cell phone, when you’re not paying attention to the road, when you’re not paying attention to the hazards that are on the road, and last but not the least, when you’re losing control by entering a curve too fast
What Is Careless Driving Causing Bodily Harm?
Careless driving causing bodily harm or death is likewise under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. This offence happens when a careless driver kills or injures someone. The police can charge a driver with careless driving causing bodily harm or death when the driver engages in any of the following:
- When not driving with care and attention
- When driving in a way that limits the driver’s ability to change or adjust according to circumstances on the road
- When the driver inflicts bodily harm or death to any individual
Can Someone Get a Criminal Record for Careless Driving?
A charge of careless driving or careless driving causing bodily harm or death will not result in a criminal record. With this said, someone found guilty of careless driving can face the following consequences:
- Paying a fine of up to $2000
- Having to serve up to two years in jail
- Having six demerit points added to one’s driving record
- Having your driver’s permit or license suspended for up to two years
Know that careless driving will not appear on your criminal record but a record of the traffic ticket or a record of conviction will appear on your license abstract for up to three years.
What Is Careless Driving in the Ontario Highway Traffic Act?
Section 130(1) of Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act says that a person is guilty of careless driving when:
- The individual drives a streetcar or a vehicle on a highway without necessary care and attention; or
- The individual drives without sensible consideration for other people who are using the highway.
Driving without consideration for others is defined as driving in a way that limits the driver’s ability to prudently adjust to road conditions on the highway in section 130(4) of the Ontario Highway Traffic Ac.
How to Defend a Careless Driving Charge?
The crown will need to prove that the person charged with the offence is indeed driving carelessly without necessarily having to prove that the person was driving without care. As such, this is a tricky case to defend and requires the attention of a seasoned careless driving Lawyer in Toronto and Ontario. Contact us at Calvin Barry Law to find out how we can defend a charge of careless driving.