Driving Without Due Care And Attention – What It Means
People usually understand that when they cause an accident they are liable to prosecution for driving without due care and attention and for more serious offenses a charge of dangerous driving may even apply. Some people have slowly come to realize that sending a quick text whilst trying to keep the phone as low down as possible can land them in Court too but who really knows what the rules are when it comes to smoking, eating and drinking whilst driving a car.
Unfortunately, the answer is that there is no hard and fast rule. The test for “Due Care” as it is more commonly known is whether the standard of your driving instructors Queensland has fallen below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver. What this actually means in practice is that when a police officer sees that you are eating a sandwich or drinking a bottle of water he can charge you with “due care” and let the Magistrates at Court decide whether the standard of your driving fell below the threshold. Unfortunately for motorists, there are many convictions recorded for committing the crime of consuming and driving.
Most cars are fitted with cigarette lighters and in this day and age, it may be one of the last places left where a smoker can light up without the guilt of passing on secondary smoke. However, there appears to be no reason at all why an officer should not charge you as the Courts may find that with one hand involved in smoking you are not in complete control of your vehicle. Once again, if you find yourself in Court it would not be difficult for a bench of Magistrates to conclude that the standard of your driving had been impeded by the cigarette and had dropped below the level of the reasonable motorist.
Obviously, this begs the question as to what you can do. We already know that touching a device to operate your phone is technically a breach of the law, so what if you change the Radio? It is highly unlikely that this would result in a Court appearance but what if you change a tape, CD or CD cartridge? It does not seem to be out of the realms of possibility to believe a Court could conclude that your attention could be considered enough distracted to convict.
Along with this, you must bear in mind the new charge of Death by Due Care and attention. If you are lent over changing your CD cartridge and you cause the death of a pedestrian a whole new level of sentencing powers are available to the Judge due to the fact that your concentration was not fully upon the road.
In conclusion, the key is preparation. Turn off your phone and eat and drink before your journey. Set the Radio on the station you like and take the time to pull over to smoke. All of this may seem like unnecessary precautions but should you find yourself in Court with your license under threat you may realize that the law these days really does require a motorist to give all of their attention to the road.