Death by dangerous driving
Produced in partnership with 18 Red Lion Court
Death by dangerous driving

The following Corporate Crime guidance note Produced in partnership with 18 Red Lion Court provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Death by dangerous driving
  • The elements of the offence of dangerous driving
  • Causation in dangerous driving
  • Vehicle in dangerous state
  • Evidence of alcohol consumption in dangerous driving
  • Alternative verdicts in dangerous driving
  • Defences to dangerous driving
  • Sentencing for causing death by dangerous driving

The elements of the offence of dangerous driving

Dangerous driving is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988, s 1 (RTA 1988). This is an indictable only offence and can only be tried in the Crown Court.

The elements of the offence are as follows:

  1. Causing death of another person by:

    1. driving

    2. a mechanically propelled vehicle

    3. on a road or other public place

    4. dangerously

Dangerous driving is when a person drives in a way which falls far below what is expected of a competent and careful driver. The test is objective; that it would be obvious to the competent and careful driver that either:

  1. driving in that way, or

  2. driving the vehicle in its current state

would be dangerous.

The elements of the offence are the same as dangerous driving, namely driving far below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver, and that it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

In addition dangerous driving results in death.

See Practice Note: Dangerous driving.

The burden of proof rests on the prosecution, to the criminal standard, beyond reasonable doubt.

There is no mental requirement for the commission of this offence. If the defendant did not intend to drive dangerously, but was doing so when tested against the objective standard of a careful and competent

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