Drivers warned they face a £5,000 fine if they splash pedestrians with puddles

Car driving through a puddle. Picture issued by Confused.com
Car driving through a puddle. Picture issued by Confused.com

It's a scene we're all familiar with - and some drivers may even think it's a bit of fun.

But motorists are being warned they could be hit with very heavy fines if they splash pedestrians with puddles.

It comes after reports police are hunting a careless driver who ploughed through a 20ft puddle and soaked a mum with pram. The motorist concerned faces a £5,000 fine if he or she is caught.

Amanda Stretton, motoring editor for insurance comparison website Confused.com, said splashing passersby with puddles was a much more serious offence than it may seem on the surface.

"Some people might think that driving through puddles is a bit of fun, with others accusing the police in this instance of overreacting. However, it can be a serious safety issue for drivers and is highly inconsiderate for pedestrians," she said.

“Firstly, drivers have no way of knowing what the road surface is under the puddle, causing unpredictable driving conditions. Secondly, the water itself can cause the car to aquaplane – where the vehicle’s tyres fail to grip the road and cause the driver to lose control."

“If that isn’t enough, it’s also just incredibly rude and drivers can be penalised, quite rightly, with a huge £5000 fine. Puddle rage really can lead to big fines.

"To avoid this cost and to ensure their safety, we advise motorists to look out for big puddles when driving, and pay particular attention when there are pedestrians around.”

The offence is covered in The Road Traffic Act 1988, which states drivers must have "reasonable considerations for other persons" and stipulates that "driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed" in particular constitutes a breach of the law.

Ms Stretton issued the warning to drivers after the incident in St Ives, Cambridgesgire, last week.

A spokesman for Cambridgeshire Police said: "On Thursday, January 4 around noon, a mother was with her two children, one in a pram and the other walking alongside her near the junction of Pig Lane and Greengarth in St Ives.

“Due to the poor weather a very large puddle had built up due to a blocked drain near the junction, which was halfway across the road.

“It was not raining and the puddle, some 20 feet in length, could easily be seen by motorists. Unbelievably a motorist drove through the puddle causing the water to soak the three.

“The driver could well have waited to drive around the puddle or drive through it very slowly so as to not cause water to splash anyone on the footpath."

He added: “The Road Traffic Act 1998 states that it is illegal to drive ‘without reasonable consideration for other persons’, including ‘driving through a puddle causing pedestrians to be splashed.

“The traffic offence can lead to a maximum fine of £5000 if it is established that the driver’s behaviour ‘amounts to a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience, or aggressiveness.”