MOTORISTS in the UK could face a fine of up to £5,000 if they are caught driving through a puddle and splashing a pedestrian.
Some might see soaking a passerby as they speed along as a bit of a laugh and all just harmless fun but it could land the driver in some hot water.
Driving without reasonable consideration can attract a maximum level five fine, which is currently set at £5,000, and dictates that a person’s driving “amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience or aggressiveness”.
Under section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is an offence to drive “without reasonable consideration for other persons” and according to the Crown Prosecution Service, this includes an instance of “driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed”.
While it may be highly unlikely that a person guilty of such an offence would be sentenced at the top end of the scale, it is still possible such a harsh penalty could be handed down in extreme cases.
The more common sanction for splashing a pedestrian would likely just be a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice, but could be boosted into the thousands if the offender chooses to take the case to court.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “Anyone unfortunate enough to have suffered a drenching by an inconsiderate motorist splashing them when driving through a puddle would probably welcome a sizeable financial penalty for the driver.
“Since 2013 careless driving can be dealt with by a Fixed Penalty Notice with a £100 fine and three penalty points.
“This is a take it or leave it offer for the motorist if they accept that they have committed the offence.
“If, however, they refuse then they will face a magistrate who could impose a fine up to £5,000, although the maximum is very unlikely.
“In such a case the fine would be appropriate to the level of distress and inconvenience caused and would hopefully send a clear message that inconsiderate and potentially aggressive driving is simply not acceptable.
“Drivers have a duty to show respect and care for their fellow road users and pedestrians.”
As part of section three of the Road Traffic Act, motorists can also be fined for offences such a flashing their lights to force other drivers in front to give way, unnecessarily slow driving or braking without good cause, driving with undipped headlights which dazzle oncoming drivers, cyclists or pedestrians, and driving a bus in such a way as to alarm passengers.
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