Thorley Stephenson, Edinburgh Law Firm

Thorley Stephenson SSC is an Edinburgh based law firm providing a wide range of legal services in family, child and criminal court cases throughout Scotland. Tel: 0131 556 9599
3 minutes reading time (699 words)

Dangerous Driving Scotland: FAQs

Driving offences are common, and can range anywhere from a speeding ticket to death by dangerous driving. 

Our team at Thorley Stephenson can offer advice on any driving offence charge, but the sooner you contact us, the more we can do to help. 

Call us today on 0131 341 1667.

What is dangerous driving?

Dangerous driving, as set out in Section 2A of the Road Traffic Act 1988, occurs when an individual’s driving ‘falls far below the expectations of a competent and careful driver’ and it ‘is obvious to a competent driver that driving in such a way is dangerous’. The driving also must be capable of causing damage to property or injury to another person.

Speed is one of the most common causes of dangerous driving in Scotland. There is scope for an initial charge of speeding to progress into action for dangerous driving. You can also face a charge of dangerous driving if you drive an unroadworthy vehicle or are impaired by a health condition. There is also scope to reduce the charge from one of dangerous driving to that of careless driving. This charge represents a significant downgrading of the offence of dangerous driving.

What are the penalties for dangerous driving?

For those convicted of dangerous driving, there is a mandatory disqualification unless there are mitigating factors to avoid it. The minimum disqualification is twelve months.

If you are convicted of death by dangerous driving, you can expect to receive a mandatory two-year driving disqualification and up to 14 years in custody.

Is there a fine for dangerous driving?

If you are convicted of dangerous driving, you can face a fine of up to £10,000. The amount of the fine given by the court depends on the specifics of the dangerous driving incident.

Will I have to take an extended driving test?

If you are disqualified for dangerous driving, you will also have to undertake an extended driving test. If you do not do this, it could lead to further prosecution.

What is careless driving?

Careless driving is set out in Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 and occurs when someone ‘drives a motor vehicle on a road in a manner that falls below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver’ or ‘those who drive without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place’.

This differs from dangerous driving because it includes the risk of injury to a person or damage to property.

What are the penalties for careless driving?

The penalties you can receive on your driving licence for careless driving range between 3 and 9 points. You only need to accumulate 12 points to be banned from driving. If the court considers the careless driving particularly bad, but it does not amount to dangerous driving, it can impose a discretionary disqualification. A fine of up to £5,000 can also be implemented.

What happens if I’m caught using my phone whilst driving?

If you are changing music, reading a message or even dismissing an incoming call, driving whilst using a mobile phone is considered a criminal offence. You can receive a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of a £200 fine and six points on your licence, although most mobile phone offences in Scotland are not dealt with in this way.

If the case is referred to court, six points will be automatically added to your licence, and you will also have to pay a fine of up to £1,000. For bus or lorry drivers, the fine increases to up to £2,500

New drivers who are caught using a mobile phone whilst driving will have their licence immediately revoked for having six points. Here, the driver will have to reapply for their licence and retake their driving test.

Contact our Driving Offence Solicitors in Edinburgh 

If you are facing a driving offence charge, please contact us today. Thorley Stephenson SSC’s criminal lawyers in Edinburgh aim to provide clients with a personal and professional service, working with you to get the best result available in your situation. 

Please contact us today on 0131 341 1667 or complete our online enquiry form to speak to one of our solicitors about your case. 

Older drivers enraged by the proposed maximum driv...
Congratulations to our Emma Murdoch in qualifying

Get advice now

fill in our enquiry form

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.(*)
Invalid Input

Contact us today on
to speak to our solicitors.

Contact Us


T: 01315569599
F: 0131 556 1321
E: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thorley Stephenson Edinburgh Solicitors Logo