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R v CRAIG BANNISTER

A special skill or lack of skill of a driver was an irrelevant circumstance when considering whether he had been driving dangerously.

4 August 2009

The appellant road traffic police officer (B) appealed against a conviction for dangerous driving. B had been driving in the dark, with no lighting and in heavy rain on a motorway at 113mph when his car had slid, spun out of control and crashed. B was charged under the Road Traffic Act 1991 s.2A. At trial evidence was given about whether, at the time of the accident, B had been responding to an emergency call. However, it was common ground that that was irrelevant to dangerous driving. B had stated, on the basis of Milton v Crown Prosecution Service (2007) EWHC 532 (Admin), (2008) 1 WLR 2481 that it was relevant that he had completed an advanced training course which had enabled him to drive safely at high speed in the conditions concerned, even if it would not be safe for the ordinary competent and careful driver. The judge summed up the case to the jury with Milton in mind. However, B was convicted of dangerous driving and sentenced. His sentence was later reduced to a fine, disqu...

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