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What is classed as dangerous driving?

Drivers can commit the offence of dangerous driving in one of two ways, either because the standard of their driving is very poor, or their vehicle is in very bad condition. In relation to the standard of driving, section 2A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that a person will be regarded as driving dangerously if:

  • The way they drive falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and
  • It would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

It will be a matter for a court to decide whether their driving has fallen 'far below' the required standard but 'dangerous' refers to a danger of personal injury or of serious damage to property.

In relation to the condition of their vehicle, section 2A of the Road Traffic Act 1988 provides that a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous. 

The defects/condition must be able to be seen at first glance, otherwise they cannot be 'obvious'. However, if they drive knowing their vehicle has a serious defect, even if it is hidden, they can still commit the offence of dangerous driving.

What is classed as careless driving?

If a person drives any vehicle powered by an engine on a road or other public place, such as car parks without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, they are guilty of an offence.

Someone commits the offence of careless driving if their driving falls below the standard of a competent and careful driver. Whether the driving falls below this is a matter for a court to decide. 

In order to commit the offence of inconsiderate driving it has to be shown that the driving has inconvenienced another person. 

Neither offence makes any allowance of driving experience – a learner driver can be convicted as well.

How can I report this?

We can now take online reports of dangerous and careless driving, as well as using a mobile phone while driving.

In order for action to be taken, you will need to:

  • Know the alleged offending vehicle’s number plate.
  • Be able to upload video footage, for example dash cam/cycle cam footage.
  • Have independent witnesses or evidence of the alleged offence.
  • Be willing to attend court and give evidence.

If you are happy with all of the above and wish to proceed, visit our online reporting portal.

Please note, the above link is for reporting incidents that have occurred within the West Midlands area. If you wish to report an incident that occurred outside the West Midlands, follow this link.

If you do not have video evidence, but you do have other supporting evidence, such as an independent witness, the vehicle’s number plate and you are willing to attend court, please download this form, complete it and email it back to usPlease note, we cannot take any reports without independent evidence.

In addition, before you make a report, please be aware that:

  • You are making an official report to the police.
  • You may be required to provide further information or attend court in order to support the case for the prosecution.
  • Your own actions and driving standards will be reviewed as part of the report.

We cannot accept reports of any other motoring offences, such as parking on yellow lines or zig zags. To find out more about these issues please use our website’s search bar which can be accessed at the top of this page or via the homepage.