Careless or Inattentive Driving in Delaware

If you were charged with Careless Driving or Inattentive Driving, the following is the text of the law that applies in your case:

§ 4176. Careless or inattentive driving.

(a) Whoever operates a vehicle in a careless or imprudent manner, or without due regard for road, weather and traffic conditions then existing, shall be guilty of careless driving.

(b) Whoever operates a vehicle and who fails to give full time and attention to the operation of the vehicle, or whoever fails to maintain a proper lookout while operating the vehicle, shall be guilty of inattentive driving.

(c) Whoever violates this section shall for the first offense be fined not less than $25 nor more than $75. For each subsequent like offense occurring within 3 years of a former offense, the person shall be fined not less than $50 nor more than $95.

(d)(1) In addition to any other penalty imposed for an offense committed under this section, if the finder of fact determines that the commission of that offense contributed to the serious physical injury of a vulnerable user lawfully in the public right-of-way, the court shall:

a. Impose a sentence that requires the person convicted of the offense to:

1. Complete a traffic safety course approved by the Delaware Division of Motor Vehicles;

2. Perform up to 100 hours of community service, which must include activities related to driver improvement and providing public education on traffic safety;

b. Impose, but suspend on the condition that the person complete the requirements of paragraph (d)(1)a. of this section,

1. A fine of not more than $550, and

2. A suspension of driving privileges as provided in § 2733(a)(2) of this title; and

3. Set a hearing date up to 1 year from the date of sentencing. At that hearing, the court shall:

A. If the person has successfully completed the requirements described in paragraph (d)(1)a. of this section, dismiss the penalties imposed under paragraphs (d)(1)b.1. and 2. of this section.

B. If the person has not successfully completed the requirements described in paragraph (d)(1)a. of this section, either: I. Grant the person an extension based on good cause shown, or II. Impose the penalties under paragraphs (d)(1)b.1. and 2. of this section.

(2) The police officer issuing the citation for an offense under this section shall note on the citation if the cited offense contributed to the serious physical injury of a vulnerable user of the public right-of-way. If so noted, the person receiving the citation shall not be permitted to use the voluntary assessment process otherwise permitted under § 709 of this title.

(3) As used herein, “vulnerable user of a public right-of-way” means:

a. A pedestrian, including those persons actually engaged in work upon a highway, or in work upon utility facilities along a highway, or engaged in the provision of emergency services within the right-of-way; or

b. A person riding an animal; or

c. A person operating any of the following on a public right-of-way, crosswalk, or shoulder of the highway:

1. A farm tractor or similar vehicle designed primarily for farm use;

2. A skateboard;

3. Roller skates;

4. In-line skates;

5. A scooter;

6. A moped;

7. A bicycle; or

8. A motorcycle.

 

The text of this law is current as of November 12, 2012.

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