WHAT IS CARELESS DRIVING IN ONTARIO?
I’m going to talk to you today about careless driving. It is probably one of the most common charges that I would see in this particular firm. And it is a, it’s common in terms of the, the phraseology and what the public is aware of. You can ask most of your friends and family and whomever about careless driving and they’ll all have a different answer about that sort of thing.
So what I’d like to do for you today is clarify probably the most important question and that is what is careless driving in Ontario? The best way to describe section 130, careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario is to basically talk to you about what sort of driving occurred that manifested in such a charge.
So, some of the wordage or verbiage when you hear careless driving is that someone or some driver was driving without due care and attention. That is a standard by we by every driver. We all must subscribe to a standard of how we drive our automobiles, okay? And when a police officer believes that you’re not…
following that standard and you’re not driving with the due care to be operating that motor vehicle and you’re not paying the requisite attention, you will in fact see a charge of careless driving. Okay. I would best describe Careless driving. And I have, I’ve, I’ve many occasions for many clients, I would describe careless driving as sort of a blanket charge. I’ve used the word umbrella charge and I’ve used that to sort of describe in a very rational way why we see so much of that charge. And the reason why I’ll use the word umbrella is that, that umbrella for careless driving captures all kinds of behaviors, which would include accidents, which would include things like road rage, distracted driving, or another one we can talk a bit about is falling asleep.
Many clients don’t understand that falling asleep behind the wheel is in fact squarely falling in to what would be considered careless driving. But when there are accidents and when these types of things happen most officers these days don’t have the time to go through the act and pick out the exact behavior that fits into the Highway Traffic Act.
What they tend to gravitate to is a charge of careless driving, which again covers all possible things that may have happened out there while you were driving. There’s another section which is also important, which is a relatively new section under the Act, and that’s subsection 3. So it’s careless driving, section 130, subsection 3, and that particular section covers causing injury or death.
Okay, obviously much more significant. But we can talk about those injuries in a case like that, and I’ve had several just recently. And… You could injure another person, and that’s what most people think. You know, you’re in your car, you’re charged with causing bodily injury because of this careless driving, and the automatic assumption by these defendants is that well, I’ve injured someone in another car, and that’s not quite accurate.
What the officers are observing are they’re looking for injuries on yourself, so it could be the driver, and you’re gonna see a charge that serious. Because you’ve had some injuries, you could also see other persons, other passengers that you’re responsible for if they were hurt as a result of that driving, you will see the various serious, serious section of section 130 sub three.
Okay. And then, of course, everyone believes, well, if I’ve hurt some other vehicle and yes, that’s obvious. If someone in another vehicle was hurt, and it’s obvious because of that driving, then in fact, you would see that very serious charge of careless driving.