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One does not need a van licence to know what happens when you drive a heavy vehicle through a large body of standing water. Yet it turns out that van drivers are among those ticketed in England and Wales over the last five years for intentionally splashing pedestrians. According to sources, there have been 63 complaints in England and an additional 38 in South Wales.

Splashing pedestrians by driving through standing water is illegal under Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act of 1988. It is punishable through a fixed penalty notice issued by the investigating officer. However, what if the offending party is an officer himself? The Belfast Telegraph reports one case involving an officer having to issue an apology after splashing pedestrians while driving his 4 x 4.

The Belfast Telegraph also reports on two specific cases involving van drivers. In one case, a driver was accused of repeatedly driving back and forth through a puddle to cause as much splashing as possible. Another case involved a driver purposely steering his vehicle through standing water and then joining a passenger to laugh at the victims.

Police officials say that deliberately splashing pedestrians is an inconvenience at minimum, but it can create a dangerous situation as well. Any small objects sitting in the water could potentially become dangerous projectiles if kicked up by the tyres of a passing vehicle. Alternatively, victims already suffering with certain types of minor illnesses could see their conditions worsen after being soaked in cold weather. The reality is that splashing pedestrians is no joke.

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Driver Planning and Caution

Incidents that are truly unavoidable are not likely to result in anything other than a driver having to pay a cleaning bill. Nonetheless, as police officials point out, most splashing incidents are avoidable through careful planning and cautious driving. Professionals, such as van drivers and police officers, should be skilled and knowledgeable enough to avoid such incidents.

Planning takes the form of knowing the weather and how it will affect your chosen route prior to taking to the road. For example, you may know that your daily route takes you along busy streets frequented by schoolchildren on their way to classes. Knowing it is likely to rain suggests the potential exists for splashing. Either choose a different route or drive slowly when proceeding through the areas in question.

In the grand scheme of things, avoiding circumstances that could result in accidental splashing is usually not high on the list of priorities for professional drivers. It is also not something we have to spend a lot of time on when training drivers for an HGV or van licence. We only urge drivers use a little common sense in inclement weather.

The HGV Training Centre can help you earn your HGV or van licence by way of our affordable and convenient classes. We operate more than 45 facilities staffed by trained professionals who know their business. We are ready to train you.

Sources:

Belfast Telegraph – http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/local-national/uk/puddlesplashing-drivers-slammed-30885140.html

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