Wetting a pedestrian could make you dive into your wallet
In Sherbrooke , pedestrians have recourse if they are sprayed by a vehicle. (File photo)
You are walking quietly on a sidewalk when suddenly, a springtime tsunami, straight out of under the wheels of a car, comes to grab you. For pedestrians, the return of puddles of water on the roadways often rhymes with splashing. In Sherbrooke, however, active transportation enthusiasts have recourse against those who would make them drink the cup.
The Quebec Highway Safety Code does not include an article prohibiting splashes. A clause in the general by-law of the Ville de Sherbrooke stipulates, however, that when the roadway is covered with water, mud or melting snow, the driver of a vehicle must reduce the speed of his vehicle so as not to not splash pedestrians, underlines the spokesperson for the Service de police de Sherbrooke (SPS) Isabelle Gendron.
Since 2015, she has reported that five drivers have been caught under this by-law after being seen in action by a patrol officer… or after downright spraying a police officer.
The fines for this violation are $65. Added to this is a $30 fee. The municipal by-law also mentions that the sprinkler may be condemned[…] to the cost of cleaning or other damages incurred for a maximum amount of $25.
If he wishes to make a report to the police, the complainant should try to memorize a description of the vehicle, the number of his license plate, as well as a brief description of the driver, indicates Isabelle Gendron.
Even if it does not specifically mention splashes, the Highway Safety Code requires sharing the road with courtesy and respect, reminds the spokesperson and public relations officer for the Société de Quebec Automobile Insurance (SAAQ), Geneviève Côté.
“What is very important to understand is that speed often plays a big role in these situations, so it is better to respect the speed limits to avoid splashing. »
— Geneviève Côté, spokesperson and public relations officer for the SAAQ
The motorist must keep a sufficient distance from the pedestrian, she adds. So at least 1 m with the pedestrian in an area of 50 km/h and less, and 1.5 m in an area of more than 50 km/h, which can precisely reduce the risk of splashing. If he doesn't, he could be fined between $200 and $300.
Pedestrians also have rules to follow to ensure their general safety. They must use the sidewalks, cross the street at the indicated places, not cross the street diagonally because that too can be a risk of splashing, supports Geneviève Côté.