Careless driving in Delaware, or inattentive driving, which is covered by the same state statute, is an offense which can have serious consequences if it results in harm to a pedestrian, cyclist or anyone else who is using a public right of way.

Careless driving is defined by the statute as driving in a careless way without regard to the weather, traffic or road conditions. Inattentive driving is defined by the same statute as driving without paying full attention to the operation of a vehicle or not keeping a proper lookout.

Both of these offenses are quite similar and depend on a very subjective judgment made by a police officer, if he or she decides to give you a citation for either of them. Of course, if you have an accident in which something or someone gets damaged or hurt, then it is much more likely that you will get a citation anyway, if the officer thinks it was your fault.

Careless Driving Fines if No one Has Been Hurt

If no one has been hurt, then it is unlikely you will get more than a fine for careless / inattentive driving. A fine for this offense in Delaware is likely to set you back between $25 to $75. If it is not your first offense for careless / inattentive driving, then the fine will be raised to between $50 and $95.

Careless Driving Penalties if a Person has Been Seriously Injured

The situation is quite different if you hurt somebody seriously or it is alleged that your driving caused someone to get hurt seriously. If you are convicted, then you will be fined up to $550 and it is possible that your license will be suspended. The fine and suspension will depend on whether you attend a driver modification course operated by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) and complete 100 hours of community service, which has to include at least some time devoted to traffic safety.

The suspension of both the fine and the license will await a hearing, which will be given a year after the conviction for careless or inattentive driving. At the hearing, you would need to show that you have completed the two basic requirements mentioned above or show very good grounds why you couldn’t complete them. If the DMV is satisfied, then the two penalties will be dismissed.

Note that Delaware’s penalties for careless or inattentive driving may seem a little less severe than other neighboring states, but may still have some effect on you in the long term. A ticket for careless or inattentive driving is likely to be given at the same time as a ticket for another alleged violation, such as speeding or failure to yield the right of way and it may be that these charges are more serious than the one for careless or inattentive driving.

When Should you Plead Not Guilty

Before you make a plea in response to a Delaware careless or inattentive driving ticket, you will have to think carefully about the consequences of a guilty plea. How much is a likely penalty going to affect you down the track? If the charge means that you are in danger of losing your license, or the time taken to complete community service or a driver modification course is going to affect your job then you may be better off pleading not guilty and hiring a Delaware traffic violation officer to help you fight the charge(s). Pleading not guilty means that the prosecution is then forced to prove that you were driving carelessly and you may be able to dismiss the charge completely or make a plea bargain for a lesser sentence.



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    The objectives of Delco’s Driver Improvement Problem Driver Program are manifold: (1) to identify driver’s problems; (2) to change the problematic driver’s behavior by giving information and opportunities for training; (3) if needed be, to impose continuous sanctions after more accumulation of convictions/points on driving record of the individual. Governed by Division Policy Regulation #45, the goal of the program is to prevent crash . There are steps in the program geared to the gravity of the driving record that maybe the cause of an advisory letter, a mandated suspension, and/or taking a driving course on modification of attitude and behavior. Added is a reinstatement fee of $25.00 to be paid at the Division of Motor Vehicles for reinstatement of license. The point system of Delco: speeding violation of 1-9 MPH over posted limit  = 2 points; speeding violation of 10-14 MPH = 4 points; speeding violation of 15 – 19 MPH = 5 points ; speeding 20 MPH = 5 points + other actions including suspension. Point system for: passing a school bus that stopped = 6 points; reckless driving = 6 points; aggressive driving = 6 points; disregarding red light or stop sign = 3 points and other moving violations = 2 points. For the first 12 months from the date of violation, calculated points are credited at full point value. After the initial expiration of initial 12 months, the calculated points will get a half-point value for the next 12 months. All rates are determined by the based upon entire calculated […]

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    Secane Pa. – A 2nd charge of DUI homicide is filed versus a woman from Delaware County who repeated acts of creating havoc while driving her vehicle. Authorities reported that this week, Nichole Labelle, age 24 and resident of Secane is facing her second DUI crash in less than two years. Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood of the Upper Darby reported that the woman was unsteady; her clothes were in disarray and wearing only one shoe when they apprehended her. Labelle in her latest crash hit a car and she told Chitwood that she was driving her vehicle when she hit another vehicle. The officer said just last year, Labelle was DUI when she slammed her car and killed her passenger identified as George Kaminski, age 21. During her last crash, Labelle was out on bail. It is in the news that a awaiting trial on charges of killing a young man while driving impaired in Philadelphia two years ago was again arrested in Upper Darby last Tuesday night for crashing her car while high on heroin and prescription pills. Labelle rammed her vehicle into a parked car that was unoccupied along Westbrook Dr. in the vicinity of Alverstone Rd. at about 8:45 o’clock Tuesday evening. When police reached the scene, they saw that had only one shoe on and was speaking in a slurred manner. She told Chitwood that she got distracted and crashed her car. When police questioned her further, she told officers she had shot up heroin and took doses of Adderall […]

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    Experts of traffic safety pronounced three classifications for distractions: it maybe manual, visual and cognitive. Manual distractions happen when you are moving your hands away from the wheel and the task of controlling the vehicle. For example: reaching for a falling personal object. Visual distractions take place when you turn your eyes away from the road. For example, when you are looking at a road map to ascertain where you are going. A cognitive distraction is the wandering away of your mind instead of paying attention to the road. For example, thinking of your date tonight. Some facts about distractive driving are quite alarming. Studies showed that drivers within the 20-24 year group caused crashes related to cell phone use; the 25-29 year olds follow and those 19 and under follow very closely. It appears that 55% are crashed committed by males while 45% are the females. Friday crashes due to distracted driving are higher compared with any other days. Delaware is among the states with the toughest imposition of laws on distracted driving for Delco wants to alleviate traffic safety. They are strongly enforcing cell phone bans as using a mobile while behind the wheel has been considered as top driving distraction. Just consider lots of car mishaps on roads across America due to use of mobiles while behind the wheel. Here is a list of prohibitions imposed by the state of Delaware to drivers especially more impositions to newbie and bus drivers. In the state of Delco, no […]

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    Delaware roads have claimed 139 lives and injured more than 9,657 over the past three years in crashes involving aggressive driving. In fact, about 42% of all fatal car accidents in Delaware for the year 2010 were caused by aggressive driving with more than 1/3 were due to the failure of driver to grant the right of way. It was in 1998 that Delaware passed an aggressive driving law that defines this type of driving as a combination of three or more specific illegal actions from one continuous incident. There are specific acts that can be considered under the charge of aggressive driving: (1) not following a traffic control device; (2) passing at the right; (3) not driving within the traffic lane; (4) tail driving; (5) failure to yield; (6) improper entrance to the roadway; (7) not using turn signals; (8) failure to stop or yield at a sign; (9) overtaking and passing a stopped school bus; and (10) speeding . Anyone given a citation for aggressive driving is subject to stiffer penalties. These is a fine from $100 to $300, an imprisonment for 10 to 30 days, or both fine and imprisonment even for a first offense. For another offense than occur within three years of the previous, the sanctions include a fine from $300-$1,000, imprisonment for 30 to 60 days, or both, plus 30-day suspension of driving privileges. There are no suspensions of sentences. Violators have more obligations to face; they must pass an approved course that addressed behavior modification or […]

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