Since 2008 there has been an offence of causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving. It is triable either way. Thanks to the organisation RoadPeace I can state the following:-
Causing Death by Careless or Inconsiderate Driving was the most common causing death by driving charge in 2010 with a total of 253 drivers convicted. At the Magistrates Court, 70 drivers were found guilty and 7 drivers had their charges withdrawn or dismissed. At the Crown Court, another 183 were found guilty and 99 were acquitted. The 253 convictions represent a huge increase compared to 2009 when only 93 drivers were convicted of this charge. This represents an increase of 172%. It is not possible to know how many of the convictions involved a guilty plea.
It is not surprising that I have not sat on any such case. Indeed from these figures it is unlikely that any reader has first hand knowledge of such a matter. However, unusually for a magistrate`s blog, a decision at the Court of Appeal illustrates a legal argument which in itself might be useful to know.
An LGV driver had been convicted of the offence even although he was not in the vehicle and it had been parked with its hazard lights flashing. The essential point was summed up as follows:- â€œThe judges stated that the Act defined the offence as "â€˜causing the deathâ€¦by driving.â€™ It is not â€˜causing the death while driving.â€™"
The report can be accessed here.