Culpable Driving applies to Cyclists

The Bicycle Transport Alliance of WA (BTAWA) in a recent posting to their blog, highlighted a recent change to Criminal Code Act Compilation Act 1913. Section 284 of the Criminal Code which came into effect on August 1, 2008. Section 284 of the Criminal Code of deals with “Culpable Driving” of vehicles such as bikes, skateboards, scooters, animals and even shopping trolleys and provides for a penalty of 10 years imprisonment for culpable driving causing death and seven years for causing grievous bodily harm. Culpable Driving includes driving/riding a bike in a manner, including speed, that in the circumstances is dangerous to any person. This offence would apply to a cyclist running down a pedestrian.

Something to keep in mind when riding those shared paths. Lets try and do the right thing and share with respect.

The section of the Criminal Code is thus:

284. Culpable driving (other than of motor vehicle) causing death or grievous bodily harm

(1) In this section – 

conveyance does not include a motor vehicle; 

drive a conveyance, includes to pilot an aircraft and to navigate a vessel.

(2) For the purposes of this section a person culpably drives a conveyance if the person drives the conveyance in a manner (including at a speed) that, having regard to all the circumstances of the case, is dangerous to any person.

(3) If –

(a) a person culpably drives a conveyance; and

(b) the conveyance is involved in an incident that directly or indirectly causes the death of, or grievous bodily harm to, another person, 

the person is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for –

(c) if death is caused, 10 years; or

(d) if grievous bodily harm is caused, 7 years.

Summary conviction penalty: imprisonment for 3 years and a fine of $36 000.

(4) A court convicting a person of an offence under this section that involves the navigation of a vessel must make an order under the Sentencing Act 1995 section 107(1) for a term of at least 2 years.

(5) It is a defence to a charge of an offence under subsection (3) to prove the death or grievous bodily harm caused by the incident was not in any way attributable (as relevant) to the manner (including the speed) in which the conveyance was driven.

[ Section 284 inserted by No. 29 of 2008 s. 14; amended by No. 44 of 2009 s. 5]


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