Millions of motorists ‘intentionally’ splash through puddles to soak pedestrians so they could be fined £5,000 and get penalty points, Uswitch revealed. The price comparison site’s survey confirmed that 5.5% of motorists have soaked pedestrians on purpose. And it seems youngsters are the worst offenders. 10% of 17 to 24 year old motorists have ‘deliberately’ committed the offence.
There are further statistics. For example, the survey suggested women are more likely to drive around puddles than men to avoid splashing pedestrians. The percentages are 39% and 29% respectively. There are age variations, too. Of the drivers aged 55+, 51% avoid puddles compared to 25% of those aged 17 to 24. Also:
- Liverpudlians are the most likely to avoid puddles (52%)
- Plymouth motorists are least likely to avoid puddles (28%)
- men are more likely to report being soaked than women.
What the law says
Drivers who splash through puddles and soak pedestrians – either deliberately or by accident – can face serious consequences. Let us consider the Road Traffic Act 1988, for instance. Section 3 stated:
‘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.’
‘Reasonable consideration’ is the key phrase in the previous paragraph if drivers splash pedestrians. Why? Because ‘driving without reasonable consideration’ is the specific offence that relates to such behaviour, the Crown Prosecution Service confirmed.
‘This offence is appropriate when the driving amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience, or aggressiveness in addition to some other inconvenience to road users’, the Crown Prosecution Service added. It then listed examples. ‘Driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed’, for instance.
A Fixed Penalty Notice is the most likely sanction for splashing pedestrians (£100 fine and 3 driving licence penalty points). However, there can be more serious consequences if the matter goes to court. The fine could rise to £5,000 - although this is unlikely.
Uswitch summarises the consequences
Uswitch car insurance expert, Florence Codjoe, summarised the consequences. ‘Deliberately splashing a pedestrian with a puddle is a criminal offence and is not acceptable in the eyes of the law’, she said. ‘Not only could you face a fine and penalty points, if convicted you will likely see your car insurance premium increase.’
Why? Because the insurance premium is partly based on how likely you are to make a claim. ‘If you have a motoring conviction insurers will see you as a greater risk’, Florence Codjoe revealed.