Did the trial court correctly observe the difference between actionable and culpable negligence in charging the jury? Pre*30liminary to answering this question, it may be helpful to plot again the line, sometimes shadowy, which separates the two.
1. Actionable negligence in the law of torts is a breach of some duty imposed by law or a want of due care — commensurate care under the circumstances — which proximately results in injury to another. Small v. Utilities Co., 200 N. C., 719, 158 S. E., 385; Eller v. Dent, 203 N. C., 439; Hurt v. Power Co., 194 N. C., 696, 140 S. E., 730; Ramsbottom v. R. R., 138 N. C., 39, 50 S. E., 448; Drum v. Miller, 135 N. C., 204, 47 S. E., 421.
2. The violation of a statute or ordinance, intended and designed to prevent injury to persons or property, whether done intentionally or otherwise, is negligence per se, and renders one civilly liable in damages, if its violation proximately result in injury to another; for, in such case, the statute or ordinance becomes the standard of conduct or the rule of the prudent man. King v. Pope, 202 N. C., 554, 163 S. E., 447; Godfrey v. Coach Co., 201 N. C., 264, 159 S. E., 412; Taylor v. Stewart, 172 N. C., 203, 90 S. E., 134.
3. Contributory negligence, when properly pleaded and established, defeats a recovery in the law of torts (Moore v. Iron Works, 183 N. C., 438, 111 S. E., 776), except in certain cases (Cobia v. R. R., 188 N. C., 487) ; while contributory negligence as such has no place in the law of crimes. S. v. Eldridge, 197 N. C., 626, 150 S. E., 125; S. v. McIver, 175 N. C., 761, 94 S. E., 682.
4. Culpable negligence in the law of crimes is something more than actionable negligence in the law of torts. S. v. Stansell, 203 N. C., 69, 164 S. E., 580; S. v. Rountree, 181 N. C., 535, 106 S. E., 669.
5. Culpable negligence is such recklessness or carelessness, proximately resulting in injury or death, as imports a thoughtless disregard of consequences or a heedless indifference to the safety and rights of others. S. v. Whaley, 191 N. C., 387, 132 S. E., 6; S. v. Rountree, supra.
In support of the distinction, here gleaned from the authorities, between actionable negligence in the law of torts and culpable negligence in the law of crimes, it may be noted that “reckless driving” is defined in the uniform act relating to the operation of vehicles on the highways (chap. 148, Public Laws, 1927, sec. 3), as follows: “Any person who drives any vehicle upon a highway carelessly and heedlessly in wilful or wanton disregard of the rights or safety of others, or without due caution and circumspection and at a speed or in a manner so as to endanger or be likely to endanger any person or property, shall be guilty of reckless driving and upon conviction shall be' punished as provided in section sixty of this act.”
*31Under this definition, the simple violation of a trafile regulation, which does not involve actual danger to life, limb or property, while importing civil liability if damage or injury ensue (Ledbetter v. English, 166 N. C., 125, 81 S. E., 1066),. would not perforce constitute the criminal offense of reckless driving. S. v. Stansell, supra; S. v. Whaley, supra; S. v. Durham, 201 N. C., 724, 161 S. E., 398.
6. An intentional, wilful or wanton violation of a statute or ordinance, designed for the protection of human life or limb, which proximately results in injury or death, is culpable negligence. S. v. Palmer, 197 N. C., 135, 147 S. E., 817; S. v. Leonard, 195 N. C., 242, 141 S. E., 736; S. v. Trott, 190 N. C., 674, 130 S. E., 627; S. v. Crutchfield, 187 N. C., 607, 122 S. E., 391; S. v. Sudderth, 184 N. C., 753, 114 S. E., 828; S. v. Jessup, 183 N. C., 771, 111 S. E., 523; S. v. Gray, 180 N. C., 697, 104 S. E., 647; S. v. Gash, 177 N. C., 595, 99 S. E., 337; 2 R. C. L., 1212.
7. But an unintentional violation of a prohibitory statute of ordinance, unaccompanied by recklessness or probable consequences of a dangerous nature, when tested by the rule of reasonable prevision, is not such negligence as imports criminal responsibility. S. v. Stansell, supra; S. v. Agnew, 202 N. C., 755, 164 S. E., 578; S. v. Satterfield, 198 N. C., 682, 153 S. E., 155; S. v. Tankersley, 172 N. C., 955, 90 S. E., 781; S. v. Horton, 139 N. C., 588, 51 S. E., 945.
8. However, if the inadvertent violation of a prohibitory statute or ordinance be accompanied by recklessness or probable consequences of a dangerous nature, when tested by the rule of reasonable prevision, amounting altogether to a thoughtless disregard of consequences or a heedless indifference to the safety and rights of others, then such negligence, if injury or death proximately ensue, would be culpable and the actor guilty of an assault or manslaughter, and under some circumstances of murder. S. v. Trott, supra; S. v. Sudderth, supra; S. v. Trollinger, 162 N. C., 618, 77 S. E., 957; S. v. Limerick, 146 N. C., 649, 61 S. E., 567; S. v. Stitt, 146 N. C., 643, 61 S. E., 566; S. v. Turnage, 138 N. C., 566, 49 S. E., 913.
Taking the court’s instructions and placing them side by side with the foregoing epitome of the pertinent decisions on the subject, it appears that the test of civil liability, rather than that of criminal responsibility, was applied in determining the defendant’s guilt. In this, there was error.