driving without due care and attention

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twhite | 15:35 Fri 30th Jan 2009 | Road rules
24 Answers
I've been charged with driving without due care and attention and I thinks it's very unfair.
I was leaving for work and approached a junction from our cul-de-sac, its a very quiet road so no signs except the give way broken white lines on the road. At the time of the morning, the sun rises directly to the right making it very hard to see down the road I was joining. Nevertheless, I knew this and as usual slowed right down trying hard to see if anything was approaching, uopn seeing nothing i proceeded left only to be hit by a lady on a pushbike. I was really shaken and shocked as I simply hadn't seen her, she fell off and cut her nose but apart from being shook up, she was fine. The police officer was very good and assured me not to worry as it was only a small accident.
Now I've received a letter charging me with driving without due care and attention, i couldn't believe it, I called the police officer who told me that his recommendation was no further action required, however it's obvious he has been over ruled.
I honestly do not believe that I was driving without care and attention and have no motor convictions whatsoever. Surely this is unfair - I really want to plead not guilty and explain to the court that the only explanaion is that the cycle was in the blind spot of the windscreen pillar, I slowed to a crawl whilst looking carefully but didn't see her,anyone advise me what to say to the court or what my chances are? Thank you


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just plead not guilty and it'll disappear. This is plods latest thing, what they are saying is that there is no such thing as an accident. If you plead not guilty it'll involve them in work so they won't bother unless it's a genuine case.
Do you really, truly believe pulling out blind and not seeing a push bike is careful driving?
People get killed by being a motorist's blind spot, you and the cyclist were extremely lucky.
I find wearing a peaked cap helps with the winter sun dazzle, by the way.

If you really believe you were driving so carefully given all the circumstances, plead 'not guilty'. In the circumstances you describe, I would plead 'guilty'.
"Sorry, I didn't see you"

That's what most car drivers say to the motorcyclist lying on the road injured after they have pulled out into the motorcyclist's path.

The drivers are always charged the same as you.

I don't think it's "unfair"
You've obviously been unlucky and I can understand because something similar happened to me too. By the way I am also a keen motorcyclist and cyclist, so you can imagine how I felt knocking a man off his cycle at a junction. He was ok apart from cuts and bruises but I couldn't comprehend how for all my knowledge, experience and attention - I still simply didn't see him. Really scary but at the end of the day there are always situations you can't plan for - these are called ACCIDENTS. Anyway, I pleaded not guilty and gave my full account along with detailed descriptions of road angles and the possible reasons for not seeing him, and the case was dropped. I urge you to do the same if all you've said is completely accurate then tell your side in detail.
Don't worry too much about the 'you lot always say the same' - 'how could you not have seen him' brigade. It's easy to generalise. I've been at both ends and understand as all rational people will do that accidents do happen. Don't worry, I agree with R1Geezer, there's no case to answer worth the effort and what would they gain? Do come back and tell us your decision and result.. Good luck.
who called the police in the first place?
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The police officer i spoke about was at the local station, I was called in once the lady reported it.
I am going to plead not guilty and explain why. As far as I can make out, this may be more expensive in the long run but that's a risk I feel I have to take. Thank you for your replies that are mostly reassuring and I understand both sides of the argument.
One thought comes to mind - probably almost every driver has been in the situation where they've thought 'oh my god, that was lucky' should they all be charged or only those that weren't so lucky?
if you plead guilty you will automatically receive a reduction of 1/3 of your sentence or fine.

if you feel you're really not guilty then that's how you should plead, but personally I think.. you know the road lay out, you know where the sun shines from at that time of day, you should therefore know the possible dangers and I think you may come a cropper.

maybe you should get some legal advice.
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Fair comment Sara, maybe I'm feeling a bit emotional because of the day to day awful driving and blatant disrespectful drivers I see almost daily that I am feeling hard done by. Anyway, what is the worst that can happen under these circumstances? you say come a cropper but the maximum is 9 points and a fine I think, surely they won't also penalise me by thousands just for pleading my belief?
Does anyone know the maximum penalty?
it's not my area of expertise and, although you made a scary mistake.. I can see what you're saying. I also live in a cul-de-sac, and last week was surprised to just spot someone crossing my road as I was entering. it was dark, he was wearing dark clothes, and was just in the "blind spot" of the windscreen pillar. frightened the life out of me!

someone will answer this re sentencing.

best of luck :o)
Hi twhite, been there as we all have, in your defence can you not take a camera with you when you set off in the morning,same instance same sort of day with the sun rising in the East ( You say it's rising to your right) and take a photo of the position of the sun? you may think this is a stupid statement but in your defence, think about it you need all the help you can.
Dazzled by sun is only a valid defence if you were travelling in normal conditions and suddenly blinded by the sunlight.

It does not work as a defence when you have made a conscience decision to move from a stop despite being unablle to see.
I would challenge that Ethel, If a emergency vehicle was in the same situation would the vehicle be expected to wait at that point all day? with respect to your answer.
I can't offer any constructive advice but I offer you my sympathy! This was just an accident and I don't believe you or any one else should be charged with driving without due care and attention in circumstances like this. Fine if you were speeding or something like that but these things happen and fortunately the cyclist wasn't badly injured.
I was once driving on the motorway and pulled into the outside lane to overtake after looking first when a horn beeped at me making me jump out of my skin. It was a motor bike who I hadn't seen. Does that make me a bad driver? I don't think so, these things can and do happen and unless you are being completely reckless I don't feel charges like this should be made.
You looked but did not see, therefore you where driving without the due care. The fact that you knew that visibility was going to be poor, just makes it worse. Stopping was the safest option available to you because of you prior knowledge. However that said, I would take a course of advance driving lessons (IAM/ROSPA) etc, then write to you chief constable explaining what you have done and therefore unlikely to do the same thing again and not in the public interests to prosecute. And you never know, you might actually learn something from your driving course.
I just love one of the answers above....'these things happen'!

Well, yes they do, especially when a motorist pulls out blind into the path of another road user.

Pulling out when you can't see what's coming is always going to be driving without due care and attention, whatever the excuse. Worse still are the drivers that do this then claim it wasnt their fault (it was the sun, she was in my blind spot , the devil made me do it etc etc etc).

You made a mistake just admit it for goodness sake, that alone might make you a better driver.
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Dictionary quote - Accident "an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance b: lack of intention or necessity"

Mistake "transitive verb
1: to blunder in the choice of <mistook her way in the dark>
2 a: to misunderstand the meaning or intention of : misinterpret <don't mistake me, I mean exactly what I said> b: to make a wrong judgment of the character or ability of
3: to identify wrongly : confuse with another <I mistook him for his brother>
intransitive verb
: to be wrong <you mistook when you thought I laughed at you � Thomas Hardy>

Maybe these meanings should be deleted from our modern day language,and replaced with 'criminal activitry', what do you say Twenty 20?

If say, you were to trip on your shoelace and fall into an old person injuring them, should you then be prosecuted for not paying due care and attention to tying up your shoes?

More interestingly, if the lady had managed to swerve or brake and avoid the collision, should I still be prosecuted because my action was the same, or is it really a further punishment of the consequence of the action rather than the action itself?
Your dictionary quote for "accident" is quite correct. However most police and even Tv road reports no longer use "accident" but "collision" Wich it was, between two vehicles, namely your car and a bicycle.
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I agree it was a collision - however you're missing the point.

Just because there was a collision, doesn't mean it wasn't an accident.

When my garage and garden were broken into on two separate occasions the police never even bothered to turn up and of course didn't catch anyone. One wonders what they were busy doing.
In contrast there seems to be much effort by our police to heap further misery on me and my family - for what? Does this serve the public interest or does it help with police targets?

I've lost faith in the system now. I will plead not guilty because whetever the cost, I intend to have my say.
Hi again. I am not missing the point. It was a collision not an accident. If you deem it to be an accident fair enough.

Accidents don't happen, they are caused.

I am not criticising you or your driving ability, the situation you are in could happened to anyone, it was a mistake on your behalf which could have and has happened to the majority of drivers on the road today. Including the magistrates who will be presiding at your appearance.(Don't tell them that)

I would mention that you stopped at the junction, took all reasonable observations before emerging,

As I said before this could hapen to anyone and I wish you luck.

'Took all reasonable observations' - it is necessary to be able to actually see to do that.

If you can't see - you take a big risk proceeding, and it is certainly without due care and attention

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