Section 52A of the Crimes Act 1900 (NSW) deals with the offence of ‘Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death.’
This offence is committed when a person drives a vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, and as a result of that dangerous driving, someone dies.
To prove the offence of ‘Dangerous Driving Occasioning Death’ it should be also noted that the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt the following elements:
1. The accused person was driving a vehicle.
2. The accused person drove the vehicle in a manner that was dangerous to the public.
3. As a result of the accused person’s dangerous driving, someone died.
The prosecution can prove that the accused person was driving a vehicle by showing that the accused person was in control of the vehicle. For example, this can be done by showing that the accused person was sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle, or by showing that the accused person was steering the vehicle.
The prosecution can prove that the accused person drove the vehicle in a manner that was dangerous to the public for example by showing that the accused person was driving at a speed that was excessive for the conditions, or by showing that the accused person was driving in a reckless or negligent manner.
The prosecution can prove that someone died as a result of the accused person’s dangerous driving by showing that the person died as a result of injuries that were sustained in the accident.
The offence of dangerous driving occasioning death is a serious offence. If convicted of this offence under section 52A(1) of the Crimes Act 1900, then the maximum penalty for this offence is imprisonment for 10 years.
In addition to the criminal penalties, the accused person may also be liable for civil damages.
This means that the accused person may be ordered to pay compensation to the family of the deceased.
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*This article correctly reflects the Laws of NSW as at 31st August 2023.
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