Road Traffic Act 1991

JurisdictionUK Non-devolved
Citation1991 c. 40


Road Traffic Act 1991

1991 CHAPTER 40

An Act to amend the law about road traffic.

[25th July 1991]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I General

Part I

General

Driving offences

Driving offences

S-1 Offences of dangerous driving.

1 Offences of dangerous driving.

1. For sections 1 and 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988there shall be substituted—

S-1 ‘Causing death by dangerous driving.

1 ‘Causing death by dangerous driving.

1. A person who causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence.

S-2 Dangerous driving.

2 Dangerous driving.

2. A person who drives a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence.

S-2A

2A Meaning of dangerous driving.

(1) For the purposes of sections 1 and 2 above a person is to be regarded as driving dangerously if (and, subject to subsection (2) below, only if)—

(a) the way he drives falls far below what would be expected of a competent and careful driver, and

(b) it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous.

(2) A person is also to be regarded as driving dangerously for the purposes of sections 1 and 2 above if it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving the vehicle in its current state would be dangerous.

(3) In subsections (1) and (2) above ‘dangerous’ refers to danger either of injury to any person or of serious damage to property; and in determining for the purposes of those subsections what would be expected of, or obvious to, a competent and careful driver in a particular case, regard shall be had not only to the circumstances of which he could be expected to be aware but also to any circumstances shown to have been within the knowledge of the accused.

(4) In determining for the purposes of subsection (2) above the state of a vehicle, regard may be had to anything attached to or carried on or in it and to the manner in which it is attached or carried.’

S-2 Careless, and inconsiderate, driving.

2 Careless, and inconsiderate, driving.

2. For section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988there shall be substituted—

S-3 ‘Careless, and inconsiderate, driving.

3 ‘Careless, and inconsiderate, driving.

3. If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence.’

Drink and drugs

Drink and drugs

S-3 Causing death by careless driving when under influence of drink or drugs.

3. Before section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be inserted—

S-3A

3A ‘Causing death by careless driving when under influence of drink or drugs.

(1) If a person causes the death of another person by driving a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, and—

(a) he is, at the time when he is driving, unfit to drive through drink or drugs, or

(b) he has consumed so much alcohol that the proportion of it in his breath, blood or urine at that time exceeds the prescribed limit, or

(c) he is, within 18 hours after that time, required to provide a specimen in pursuance of section 7 of this Act, but without reasonable excuse fails to provide it,

he is guilty of an offence.

(2) For the purposes of this section a person shall be taken to be unfit to drive at any time when his ability to drive properly is impaired.

(3) Subsection (1)(b) and (c) above shall not apply in relation to a person driving a mechanically propelled vehicle other than a motor vehicle.’

S-4 Driving under influence of drink or drugs.

4 Driving under influence of drink or drugs.

4. In section 4 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, in subsections (1), (2) and (3) for the words ‘motor vehicle’ there shall be substituted the words ‘mechanically propelled vehicle’.

Motoring events

S-5 Disapplication of sections 1 to 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for authorised motoring events.

5 Disapplication of sections 1 to 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 for authorised motoring events.

5. After section 13 of the Road Traffic Act 1988there shall be inserted—

S-13A

13A ‘Disapplication of sections 1 to 3 for authorised motoring events.

(1) A person shall not be guilty of an offence under sections 1, 2 or 3 of this Act by virtue of driving a vehicle in a public place other than a road if he shows that he was driving in accordance with an authorisation for a motoring event given under regulations made by the Secretary of State.

(2) Regulations under this section may in particular—

(a) prescribe the persons by whom, and limit the circumstances in which and the places in respect of which, authorisations may be given under the regulations;

(b) specify conditions which must be included among those incorporated in authorisations;

(c) provide for authorisations to cease to have effect in prescribed circumstances;

(d) provide for the procedure to be followed, the particulars to be given, and the amount (or the persons who are to determine the amount) of any fees to be paid, in connection with applications for authorisations;

(e) make different provisions for different cases.’

Danger to road-users

S-6 Causing danger to road-users.

6. Before section 23 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 there shall be inserted—

S-22A

22A ‘Causing danger to road-users.

(1) A person is guilty of an offence if he intentionally and without lawful authority or reasonable cause—

(a) causes anything to be on or over a road, or

(b) interferes with a motor vehicle, trailer or cycle, or

(c) interferes (directly or indirectly) with traffic equipment,

in such circumstances that it would be obvious to a reasonable person that to do so would be dangerous...

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