BACKGROUND: A dentist is driving home from the surgery one night and decides to take an alternate route to avoid temporary traffic lights on the main road. She is following a slow-moving lorry on the unfamiliar road and looks away for a moment to check her rearview mirror. Just then the road makes a sharp turn and the car drifts over the centre line, sideswiping an on-coming vehicle.
No one is hurt in the accident but the dentist is later convicted under Section 3 (careless driving) of the Road Traffic Act and ordered to pay a fine and her licence endorsed.
A routine letter is sent from the criminal records department to inform the GDC of the conviction, which subsequently contacts the dentist in regard to her professional conduct. The GDC letter states the information will go before a Preliminary Proceedings Committee and suggests it would be "helpful" for the committee to have her "observations" on the matter.
ANALYSIS/OUTCOME: The dentist contacts MDDUS and an adviser helps to draft a letter explaining the circumstances of the accident and the fact that the dentist has an otherwise unblemished licence. She expresses remorse and insight stating that she is a more cautious driver as a result of the incident.
The dentist later receives a warning letter which she acknowledges in writing.
- Follow GDC guidelines on reporting convictions.
- Give a clear honest account of any incident, showing insight.
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