A few years ago I found myself navigating the streets of Greenwich during a blistering rainstorm, when I suddenly heard a man shouting at the top of his voice; “Oi. Oi”.
There I was cruising down a bus lane, eyes desperately focusing on the road ahead thinking someone’s not happy with someone - just another Friday night in London.
As I stopped at a set of traffic lights, the sound of this angry man became louder and obviously closer, but this time they were accompanied by hard sole shoes slapping the pavement.
I remember looking around the taxi trying to see what the commotion outside was, but due to the torrential rain, visibility was restricted. The lights turned green, which is when I heard they final call of “you f***ing p***k” ring out from very close to my taxi.
This is when my passenger decided it was a good time to inform me that I had absolutely soaked this poor guy, who was dressed to the nines, when I drove through a large puddle.
I was literally seconds away from receiving an ass-whopping from a soaking wet man in a tuxedo for something I had no idea I did — and things could’ve got a whole lost worse if the police had intervened.
Under section three of the Road Traffic Act 1988, it is an offence to drive ‘without reasonable consideration for other persons’, and this does indeed include any instance of ‘driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed’.
If the authorities deem you to of driven through a puddle knowing that pedestrians could get splashed, you could receive a fine of up to £5,000.
The fine can be issued for instances where driving ‘amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience or aggressiveness’.
In most cases you are most likely to be handed a fixed penalty notice of £100 along with three penalty points, which is bad enough.
Drivers are advised to either wait for pedestrians to pass if there is a puddle which is likely to cause a big enough splash to wet them, or for the driver to advance very slowly through the puddle to avoid splashing.
So next time you see yourself heading straight for a huge puddle, have a quick glance to make sure there’s no chance of splashing any pedestrians, especially those wearing a nice whistle and flute waiting for a bus to go to their Christmas party.