WATCH: Moment schoolgirl drenched by driver - but is it a crime?
- Credit: Submitted
An inconsiderate driver drenched an unlucky schoolgirl in rain water as they flew past her on a miserable day — but did they commit a crime?
Dash cam footage has revealed the moment the girl, who was walking along Hellesdon Low Road in Norwich, was soaked after a driver ploughed into a nearby puddle.
The splash reaches twice her height, and elicits a gasp of horror from the woman who caught the incident on film yesterday morning while travelling the opposite way.
She said: "What you can't see from this video is her turning round afterwards with a look of shock on her face."
Julie Gowland, legal director in Birketts’ Regulatory and Corporate Defence Team, said Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 makes it clear drivers should proceed with consideration for pedestrians or, in theory, face prosecution.
She said: "The Act states if a person drives a vehicle without due care and attention, or without reasonable consideration for other persons using the road or place, they are guilty of an offence.
"Anyone shown driving without consideration could be prosecuted, fined, receive points or face disqualification.
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"In this video footage it's not clear if an offence is made: the pedestrian is not that visible and as such the driver may not have seen them walking along the pavement or had time to take action.
"It could be argued if they suddenly braked, or had or sought to avoid the puddle by taking evasive action, that the manner of driving would be careless or dangerous.
"But then the weather conditions are very poor and the driver should have been travelling in accordance with the conditions at the time, i.e. much slower, so that there was time to avoid the puddle or drive slowly and avoid soaking the pedestrian."
Ms Gowland said prosecution depended on individual case facts.
She added: "Often these offences don't make it to court as there's problems identifying the driver, or resources are so limited the cases aren't even investigated."
A local councillor said they were aware of the incident — and of other cases of children being soaked on their way to school — and stressed that drivers needed to "be more careful".