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Dangerous Driving. The offence of culpable driving was repealed in 1994 and replaced with various dangerous driving offences under s 52A  Crimes Act  1900 (NSW) The guideline was subsequently reformulated in  R v Whyte  (2002) 55 NSWLR 252 and is set out below.

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Dangerous driving

Dangerous Driving

The offence of culpable driving was repealed in 1994 and replaced with various dangerous driving offences under s 52A Crimes Act 1900 (NSW)

The guideline was subsequently reformulated in R v Whyte (2002) 55 NSWLR 252 and is set out below.


Section 52a crimes act 1900 sets out the following offences
Section 52A Crimes Act 1900 sets out the following offences:

“52A Dangerous driving: substantive matters

(1) Dangerous driving occasioning death

  • A person is guilty of the offence of dangerous driving occasioning death if the vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning the death of another person and the driver was, at the time of the impact, driving the vehicle:

  • (a) under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug, or

  • (b) at a speed dangerous to another person or persons, or

  • (c) in a manner dangerous to another person or persons.

  • A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 10 years.


(2) Aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death

  • A person is guilty of the offence of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning death if the person commits the offence of dangerous driving occasioning death in circumstances of aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 14 years.


(3) Dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm

  • A person is guilty of the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the vehicle driven by the person is involved in an impact occasioning grievous bodily harm to another person and the driver was, at the time of the impact, driving the vehicle:

  • (a) under the influence of intoxicating liquor or of a drug, or

  • (b) at a speed dangerous to another person or persons, or

  • (c) in a manner dangerous to another person or persons.

  • A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 7 years.


(4) Aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm

  • A person is guilty of the offence of aggravated dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm if the person commits the offence of dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm in circumstances of aggravation. A person convicted of an offence under this subsection is liable to imprisonment for 11 years.”


Aggravating factors
Aggravating Factors

  • (i) extent and nature of the injuries inflicted

  • (ii) number of people put at risk

  • (iii) degree of speed

  • (iv) degree of intoxication or of substance abuse

  • (v) erratic or aggressive driving

  • (vi) competitive driving or showing off

  • (vii) length of the journey during which others were exposed to risk

  • (viii) ignoring of warnings

  • (ix) escaping police pursuit

  • (x) degree of sleep deprivation

  • (xi) failing to stop.

  • Items (iii) to (xi) relate to the moral culpability of an offender.


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