It is once again that season when we have to get used to rainfall and the ills it comes with. One of those ills is when another motorist is splashed with dirty water by a fast moving vehicle. It is worse for pedestrians, what should we do?
Jude: We have been complaining about dust and now it seems like we are into the rain or call it wet season. One of the unfortunate things this seasons presents, are pools of water on roads or off road. So pedestrians and other road users such as motor cyclists, bicycle riders are often splashed with dirty water by car drivers. I have heard some people say that it is a crime, is it anyway?
Mustafa: Let’s put it this way. Jude, have you ever splashed water on anyone?
Mustafa: Paul, have you?
Paul: Yes, but unconsciously.
Jude: Why say unconsciously?
Mustafa: Paul, it has to be yes or no.
Paul: Yes, but it wasn’t intentional, I was sorry.
Mustafa: We all feel sorry for them.
Paul: Often it is accidental. I don’t know of any people who go out there and intentionally splash water on others. We have to blame it on potholes. Some of them can be seen, others you cannot see. And because of traffic, sometimes you cannot avoid splashing. However, I am not aware of any law or ban against splashing water.
Jude: Some people say when you splash water on someone, they write down your registration number and then report to police.
Mustafa: Then in such a situation it is your word against mine. How do you know that it was me driving? I can write down any person’s number and give it to police but where is burden of proof? Anyone can do this, even to mudsling you, it is a tight situation.
Paul: It could be retribution, maybe you just wrote another car’s number that passed by and not mine.
Jude: Okay, what then do you do when faced with a pool of water ahead of you. Do you slow down? There are situations when you just cannot help it but splash and go right ahead, the way it floods at the Entebbe road clock tower route. And there are times when you cannot know the depth of the pothole, thus creating a huge splash.
Mustafa: Personally, I blame the pedestrian.
Jude: For being on the “wrong” side of the road?
Mustafa: Yes! After it has rained, avoid such roads with muddy water.
Jude: But if it is my main route when going home, what do you want me to do?
Mustafa: Wait for the car to pass and then go across the puddle. If you just walk haphazardly just because it is your route going home, water will be splashed on you. Don’t think that everyone is courteous enough to slow down, some drivers may even laugh at you because it is funny!
Jude: It is not funny at all.
Mustafa: It is not funny for the “victim” but I think as a pedestrian, you should be more conscious after it has rained. Steer clear of places with puddles of water. If I see a puddle and there is no car, I will walk first enough past the puddle.
Jude: But also think of fellow motorists not just pedestrians. Please exercise some restraint.
Mustafa: The exercising of restraint is a double edged sword. Here, it will depend on how deep the pothole is. If someone brakes suddenly, I may ram into them. If I am going slow over a puddle of water, the person behind me may start honking. It is a bit of a grey area and I think it comes back to courtesy. It lies on the pedestrian’s side.
Paul: They should look around for oncoming traffic, then walk past the puddle.
Jude: Just imagine, if you splashed the water on our officers in white, won’t it be seen as settling some score?
Mustafa: Would you do that?
Jude: No, but if he is standing where this puddle of water is, anything can happen. Besides I didn’t plant him there.
Paul: You slow down, but Jude, I know you may cheekily do it to find out if there is a law against it (laughter).
Jude: I first watch and see if there is a motorcycle around for following me up (jokingly). Anyway, let’s be cautious and not hurt pedestrians or even other motorists for the rain season has just started.