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Splashing Pedestrians | Is it Illegal?

One of the more bizarre motoring questions asked by a blog follower this week, but a perfectly valid one. Book Theory Test Today clarifies the ‘law’ on splashing pedestrians.

In recent weeks there has been a spate of complaints to police regarding motorists splashing pedestrians by driving through mega-sized puddles. It got one of our blog followers asking, is this illegal?

Well Book Theory Test Today can clarify that the ‘law’ regarding splashing pedestrians is about as clear as mud. It’s not illegal per se, but can land you in trouble. However, getting in hot water depends on who you are and whether you’re caught.

For instance, a policeman who went through a puddle in his 4×4 soaking a group of pedestrians was merely forced to apologise. However, a motorist who splashed a group of school children was summoned to court to face prosecution.

There is a law against splashing pedestrians  

Splashing pedestrians is actually punishable via a very little known law. Under section three of the Road Traffic Act, 1988, drivers caught splashing pedestrians are considered careless and inconsiderate, which can result in a maximum £5,000 fine and between three and nine penalty points.

However, the law is very rarely enforced with few cases making it to court, those that do incur varying degrees of punishment.

Some of the more ‘serious’ cases of splashing pedestrians tend to involve children and the elderly, usually resulting in offenders facing more hefty punishments.

Duty of Care

Commenting on the issue, the Driving Instructors Association’s Chief Examiner, Mike Frisby, said: “Motorists have a ‘duty of care’ not to splash pedestrians, something which can be ‘easily avoided’.”

He continued: “It’s probably not widely known by pedestrians that they can report incidents if they’re splashed, but we don’t really want to engage in a culture where people are going to report every little incident.

The driver has an obligation to plan well, as there is always a danger when driving through a puddle because even in shallow water drivers won’t know what lurks beneath.”


In a recent poll conducted by webuyanycar.com almost 800, of 2000 motorists surveyed said they found it ‘highly humorous’ and burst out laughing when witnessing the splashing of pedestrians, but admitted they would demand punishment if it happened to them. A further 320 survey participants actually admitted to purposely splashing pedestrians.

Severe Punishment

If you’re caught splashing pedestrians, unless you’re a police officer of course, you stand to receive:

  • A maximum, level 5 fine anywhere up to £5,000
  • Penalty points on your licence between 3 and 9
  • A driving disqualification for a fixed duration

Book Theory Test Today says: “Such punishment carries further ramifications. For instance, penalty points affect your insurance premium. Disqualification means that if you rely on your car for commuting you’ll have to resort to public transport and so on.”

Book Theory Test Today offers an intermediary service assisting clients with booking a UK theory test, or practical test, at test centres across the nation. The service also supplies resources to help you prepare for your theory test – Ready to take your theory test? Book your theory test online today…

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