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5. Sentences

Section 38 of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong) provides that the maximum penalty for careless driving shall be a fine of $5,000 and imprisonment for 6 months.  The Court is also empowered under section 69(1) of the same Ordinance to disqualify a driver from driving for such a period as the Court thinks fit.  For cases where no casualty or serious injury is involved, the Court will usually impose a monetary fine instead of imprisonment or disqualification.


There is no offence known as careless driving causing death or causing grievous bodily harm—contrary to dangerous driving charges, which do include dangerous driving causing death and grievous bodily harm, under section 36 and section 36A respectively of the of the Road Traffic Ordinance (Cap.374 of the Laws of Hong Kong).  However, if the act of careless driving results in casualty, the Court will certainly take this into account when deciding the sentence.  It suffices to say that the Court has not hesitated to impose the maximum custodial sentence (or sentences close to the maximum) in careless driving cases where death occurred.