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Splashing a bus stop.

Eddie Mair | 14:22 UK time, Wednesday, 14 October 2009

by James Woodward, Press Association.

A motorist who was filmed drenching children at a bus stop by going through a
puddle could face prosecution, police said today.

Kerry Callard's driving in Plymouth, Devon came to the attention of officers
after a 30-second movie clip was posted on YouTube.
The footage from inside the car captures the drive down Weston Mill Hill and
through the large puddle where the group are waiting.
Police said the 29-year-old had contacted them voluntarily about the incident
last Thursday and the evidence was now being reviewed.
A male voice is heard commenting on the clip saying: "Here we go, ready to
drench the kids.." and later "That was Brilliant! Awesome!".
Although the extract has been removed from YouTube there are several other
so-called "happy splashing" videos on the internet.
A spokesman for Devon and Cornwall Police said today: "We had three complaints
from members of the public and as a result a 29-year-old woman was interviewed.
The file has gone to the CPS for consideration."
Charges of careless or even dangerous driving could be brought for this type of
offence, the force said.
The spokesman added: "Although driving through standing water may be seen as a
bit of fun, potentially it is very dangerous.
"Not only is it showing no consideration to the pedestrians who may get a
soaking, but it could result in the driver losing control of the vehicle due to
the force of the water snatching the wheel from the hands, or by the vehicle
Callard has claimed the children asked to be splashed and would not have done
it otherwise.
She told the Daily Mail: "The fun factor is mostly gone from life these days
but they were playing in puddles, like kids always have done.
"If the kids weren't saying 'Splash me, splash me', I certainly wouldn't have
done it. I'm not a serial splasher."
The force said the children's possible agreement to the stunt would make no
difference to how the standard of driving was judged.
A motorist from Somerset who soaked a workman by driving through a puddle was
prosecuted in 2005. He was fined #150 and given three penalty points by
magistrates in Yeovil after he admitted driving without due consideration.
The AA agreed that soaking pedestrians was both "anti-social" and potentially
dangerous. The Association also reminded drivers that angry victims could film
the perpetrators on their mobile phones as evidence.
Paul Watters, the AA's head of roads policy, said today: "Drivers have always
got to look ahead for the possibility of accidentally soaking someone standing
at the roadside. Not only is it anti-social and leaves them open to prosecution
but also because, ironically, pedestrians can be armed with mobile phone cameras
"Unfortunately, drivers can be caught out by poor road conditions, such as
potholes, drainage problems or just very heavy rain. In heavy traffic or poor
visibility, they may not spot the danger of splashing pedestrians until too late
or be unable to avoid the puddle.
"The best advice is to keep an eye on what's happening to the cars in front
and the state of the road. Drivers should slow down if pedestrians could be at
risk, particularly at bus stops."


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