VIDEO | Motorists could face a £5,000 fine for driving through puddles and splashing pedestrians
Motorists could face fines of as much as £5,000 for driving through puddles and splashing pedestrians, say experts.
Such a harsh penalty could be handed down for the most extreme cases, making it unlikely a person guilty of such an offence on a minor scale would receive a top-end fine.
The video above, shot in Plymouth, highlights well-known case in which a driver splashed children at a bus stop and was shown around the world in 2009.
The driver in question was threatened with prosecution by the police, but claimed she only did it as the children were enjoying it, reports the Plymouth Herald.
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”.
Driving without reasonable consideration can attract a maximum level 5 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”.
Most offenders would simply be handed a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice – but if the case was to go to court it could run into the thousands.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams told The Sun: “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.