Dangerous Driving

The Offence

Driving in a manner that is furious, reckless, or dangerous is an offence under section 117(2) of the Road Transport Act. To be found guilty of the offence, police must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were:

  1. responsible for driving a vehicle at the time in question; and
  2. driving in a manner that was furious, reckless, or dangerous.

What is considered furious, reckless, or dangerous?

In deciding whether the manner of driving was furious, reckless, or dangerous, the Court looks to all matters connected with the management and control of a vehicle by a driver. The Court looks into the following circumstances at the time of the driving:

  1. The nature, condition and use of the road;
  2. The amount of traffic present;
  3. Any obstructions or hazards on the road.

For the driving to be “dangerous”, there must be an actual or potential risk of danger, and not simply a speculative risk.

Not Guilty

Various possible defences to this offence include:

  1. Identification – you were not the driver of the vehicle at the time of the alleged offence.
  2. Manner of driving – despite travelling at a high speed for example, it could be argued that the manner of driving was not to the degree that it was furious, reckless, or dangerous.
  3. Necessity – you were under particular circumstances at the time and you were required to break the law to avoid disastrous consequences.

Pleading Guilty/ Sentence

Pleading guilty and admitting to the commission of the offence will result in you being sentenced by a Local Court Magistrate who will take into account various factors including the following:

  • Your manner of driving and the degree of potential danger to the public,
  • Your traffic record,
  • Your need for a license, and
  • Your prospects of rehabilitation, which is usually evidenced through a driver education programs (i.e. Traffic Offenders Program).

Penalty/ Disqualification



Licence Disqualification




First offence

Automatic 3 years Minimum 12 months

9 months


Second offence

Automatic 5 years

Minimum 2 years

12 months


Case Study

We recently represented a young teenager charged with the offence of Driving in a manner dangerous and Exceed speed by 45 km/h and over.  The client was detected travelling at 145 km/h in an 80 km/h zone.  Following negotiations, Police agreed to withdraw the offence of Driving in a manner dangerous on the basis that whilst the speed was excessive, the circumstances present at the time of the driving (e.g. traffic and road conditions) did not satisfy the legal elements of the offence.  The matter proceeded to sentence on the speeding offence only and our client ultimately avoided a lengthy disqualification.  

Can I avoid a disqualification period?

The short answer is “YES”. In order to avoid a disqualification, you must either be found not guilty of the offence, or if you are found guilty, you are sentenced but not convicted of the offence (this is also known as “section 10”). Although non-convictions for these types of offences are rare, we have previously obtained non‑convictions for a number of our clients.

If you have been charged with an offence of Dangerous Driving and require representation or legal advice, contact our office today and arrange an appointment with one of our experienced traffic lawyers.

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