Dangerous driving is defined as driving that creates a danger to the users, both actual and potential, of the roadway.
Users can be other vehicles, pedestrians or bikers, or the driver or passenger of the suspect vehicle.
The determination of whether any specific driving is dangerous is based on an analysis of the driving and all relevant surrounding circumstances, including manner of driving, speed, road conditions, traffic conditions, both actual and expected and weather conditions.
There is no formula for what is considered dangerous driving; rather each case is determined by its specific facts.
What is considered dangerous driving in one set of circumstances may not be considered dangerous in another.
The maximum penalty for a charge of dangerous driving is 5 years imprisonment.
While the available sentences range from a discharge (probation with no criminal record) to a custodial sentence, most individuals who are being sentenced as a first time offender would likely be facing a sentence ranging from a suspended sentence and probation to 3-4 months in custody.
Where the driving results in an accident, and where there is either injury or death caused by the driving, the maximum sentence is increased to either 10 years (for bodily harm) or 14 years (for death).
The sentencing judge may also impose a driving prohibition upon conviction. The imposition of this prohibition is discretionary for the judge, not mandatory, and where the conviction is for dangerous driving, the maximum length of the prohibition period is 3 years.
Regardless of whether or not the judge imposes a driving prohibition or a criminal record, the Ministry of Transportation will automatically suspend a person's driver's licence upon a finding of guilt for a minimum period of 1 year for a first conviction.