Driving a motor vehicle “without due care and attention” or “without consideration of other drivers” is an offence pursuant to the Road Traffic Offences Act 1988.
In order to succeed in a prosecution for careless driving it must be shown that the Defendant was guilty of inattention, misjudgement or that the standard of driving fell [even momentarily] below that of a careful and prudent driver. A standard of driving which falls below that advised in the Highway Code could potentially amount to careless driving.
Driving in an inconsiderate or selfish fashion may also amount to careless driving – for example driving unnecessarily in an overtaking lane, or driving aggressively to gain an advantage over other drivers may amount to inconsiderate driving.
Each case is assessed by the court objectively on its own facts – and the prosecution must prove their case to the criminal standard – beyond all reasonable doubt.
The police have the power to impose a fixed penalty at the scene of the incident – but you are not obliged to accept this. The penalties upon any conviction in court will include penalty points endorsed upon your licence together with a fine and contribution towards prosecution costs. The court has discretion to impose a period of disqualification from driving for any moving vehicle violation.