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Is it Illegal to Splash Someone with Your Car?

In fact, the simple and brief legal answer is - YES! Cars splashing pedestrians with puddles is illegal in the United Kingdom.

SPLASHING PEDESTRIANS LAW: Not only is it illegal to drive through a puddle and splash someone with a car. Documented cases show drivers receiving a Fixed Penalty Notice for this motoring offence.

The law aims to protect pedestrians from getting splashed by inconsiderate motorists. But even so, the rules are a little ‘misty‘ in some areas.

Note: You must not drive through puddles to target hapless pedestrians.

Doing so can result in a ticket for a public order offence and add insult to injury for everyone concerned. In fact, a few harsh cases resulted with a court summons ensuing in a hefty fine.

A few technicalities further clarify the law on cars splashing pedestrians with puddles. There is no ‘direct‘ mention for Highway Code splashing pedestrians with puddles.

But, there are strict rules on driving without due care and attention. Motorists must avoid splashing or soaking any pedestrian if it is safe to do so. Otherwise, you are breaking the law and could get done for it.

Even so, the UK splashing pedestrians law is rather weak. Especially when you compare it to other driving safety rules and regulations. That means getting a motoring conviction would not be an automatic process.

Up to £5,000 Fine for Splashing Pedestrians with Puddles

Despite the vagueness, law experts say motorists could face a fine up to £5,000. There are legal consequences for driving through puddles with cars splashing pedestrians. These UK rules and regulations come from the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Section 3 Road Traffic Offenders Act 1988

Is it Illegal to Splash Someone with Your Car UK?

The Road Traffic Act 1988 refers to careless and inconsiderate driving. The law states:

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.

The Crown Prosecution Service includes driving through puddles where it causes other road users to get splashed and get ‘puddle soaking wet’.

Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act includes a few other laws that motorists may be unaware of. They include fines for driving offences such as:

  • Braking without a good cause or driving too slow (yes there are some minimum speed limits).
  • Driving a public service vehicle (e.g. a bus or coach) in a way that alarms the passengers.
  • Driving with the vehicle headlights on full beam ‘undipped‘. This can dazzle oncoming traffic, horse riders, cyclists, as well as pedestrians.
  • Flashing car lights to force other drivers who are in front to move over and give way to you.

Driving Without Reasonable Consideration

The UK level 5 fine is currently fixed at an upper limit of £5,000. It can result from driving without reasonable consideration for other road users.

Level five fines get handed out to drivers displaying clear incompetence or selfishness. It also applies to motorists showing impatience or harsh aggressiveness behind the wheel.

As a rule, all but the worst offenders would get a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice. In most cases, FPNs and 3 penalty points have dealt with careless driving offences since 2013. But, cases ending up in the courts can in fact run up bills into the thousands.

A spokesperson from the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) said:

In general it is a ‘take it or leave it‘ offer for motorists once they accept they have committed an offence. But, refusing to pay means it can end up with a magistrate. Despite the highest fine being unlikely, the courts can impose a fine up to £5,000.

As a rule, fines are appropriate to the level of distress and inconvenience caused. It should send a clear message that inconsiderate and aggressive driving is unacceptable. All motorists have a duty to show care and respect for fellow road users and wayfarers.”


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Cars Splashing Pedestrians Law in the United Kingdom