( 453 )
Present: Lyall Grant- J.
HERAT v. PEIRIS.762—P. C. Panadura, 45.
Recklessdriving—Dangerousmanner regardless of consequences—
Distinguished from negligent driving.
Reckless driving means driving in a dangerous manner regardlessof consequences.
The difference between reckless and negligent driving indicated:
PPEAL from a conviction by the Police Magistrate ofPanadure.
Weerasooriya, for accused, appellant.
February 7, 1930. Lyall Grant j.—
This is an appeal from a conviction for reckless driving of a motorcar. The alleged fecklessness consists in driving from a, side roadinto the main road on the wrong side—what is called “ cutting acorner.”
( 454 )
The sentence imposed was a fine of Rs. 50, and in default a month’srigorous imprisonment. The accused’s certificate was suspendedfor a month.
Oh the evidence I think the learned Magistrate was entitled tohold that the accused drove on the wrong side of the road in takingthe corner and that this conduct contributed to the accident whichoccurred.
The evidence I think points rather to negligence than to reckless-ness on the part of the accused. The point is of some importanceas the Ordinance regards reckless driving as a more serious offencethan negligent driving.
Criminal rashness according to Gour (section 3,242) is—hazard-ing a dangerous or wanton act with the knowledge thatit is so and that it may cause injury, but without intentionto cause injury or knowing that it will probably be caused.The criminality lies in running the risk of doing such anact with recklessness or indifference as to the consequences.Criminal negligence is the gross and culpable neglect orfailure to exercise that reasonable and proper care andprecaution to guard against injury either to the publicgenerally or to an individual in particular, which havingregard to all the circumstances, out of which the chargehas arisen, it was the imperative duty of the accusedperson to have adopted.
There can be no doubt that the accused was negligent. Every-thing being considered, that negligence was sufficiently7 grave torender him criminally liable.
I do not think, however, that it has been proved beyond doubtthat he was reckless in the sense that he was indifferent to theconsequences.
As the fine imposed by the Magistrate is within the amountwhich can be imposed for negligent driving, the point would beacademic in the present case but for the fact that the convictionwill be recorded against the. accused and, in the event of his commit-ting another offence, may be taken into account.
I would therefore alter the conviction to one of “negligent’’-instead of “ reckless ” driving.
On the sentence the only question arising is whether the accused’scertificate of competence should be suspended for a month. ■
From personal observation I am aware that the dangerouspractice of cutting corners is very prevalent in Ceylon, and thoughthis accused has perhaps done no more than many drivers do every-day, it seems desirable that drivers should be made aware thatthe practice exposes them to the liability of suspension of theircertificates.
( 455 )
In view of possible civil proceedings between the parties concerned,I would guard myself against being taken to agree with the remarksof the learned Magistrate on the conduct of the driver of the othercar.
The appeal is dismissed.
HERAT v. PEIRIS