The scene of someone rushing to a date or scrambling to work late and then being totally soaked when a car splashes past them is often used to depict a really bad day. However, nothing is ever said to the driver that whizzes past unaware of the destruction they've caused. Little do they know that the last laugh may well be with the rain-soaked victim...
Indeed, at the time of writing, we are firmly established in Autumn in the UK and with that comes rain and other extreme weather conditions which lead to potholes and other uneven surfaces to fill up with dirty rainwater, creating dreaded puddles and the bane of the unsuspecting pedestrians. However, after researching the subject we wanted to take the opportunity that driving over said puddles and splashing people is actually a driving offence and could get you a nasty fine up to £5,000 and 9 points on their license.
If you're thinking to yourself that it couldn't possibly be true then we would direct you to the Road Traffic Act 1998 which states 'If a person drives a mechanically propelled vehicle on a road or other public place without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, he is guilty of an offence'. The offence falls under careless and inconsiderate driving.
Whether it's deliberate or not, it is the pedestrian who suffers the full force of these weather conditions, and being soaked by a careless driver going over a puddle can have some disastrous consequences for the pedestrians - their day is ruined for a start but also their clothing is ruined for the day which can lead to being late for work or forced to go home to change which can have consequences for them at the workplace.
In the most extreme cases, imagine a child or even a baby being splashed by a puddle, this can lead to medical issues if wet clothing isn't dealt with fast enough. Let alone the thought that someone could accidentally ingest some of the rainwater, which could lead to potential sickness.
It is easy to laugh it off, especially when it is depicted in television adverts or in films, however, the Road Traffic Act of 1988 makes it clear it is no laughing matter. The most common fine a driver can expect if they are reported is £100 and three points on the license with the more severe ceiling of £5,000 and 9 points - therefore the more serious examples such as with children shows the affects a driver can cause, sometimes through deliberate and excessive actions.
So what is there to take away from this? Well, it's simple - when there's been extreme weather take extra care to avoid puddles next to where pedestrians walk. If you're a pedestrian, give yourself some extra distance from the puddles, and if you do get splashed be sure to take a note of the vehicle's license plate. If you're travelling with children pack some extra dry clothes and if using a pram to make sure it is completely covered up.