IT is the sort behaviour normally associated with boy racers.

But this driver subjecting a shocked pedestrian to a surprise soaking was a police officer.

Footage posted on social media shows a police car travelling along and showering a pedestrian with water after driving through a huge puddle.

Now, the footage filmed by a fellow motorist travelling a short distance behind on the route in Leigh Road, Eastleigh, is causing a storm amongst pedestrians and drivers alike.

It comes as the county struggles with the aftermath of flooding caused by heavy rain hitting the region in the wake of storm Jonas.

Under the Road Traffic Act, drivers must act with reasonable consideration for pedestrians when driving through puddles.

According to police, the offence of driving without reasonable consideration is applicable when the driving amounts to "a clear act of incompetence, selfishness, impatience or aggressiveness in addition to inconvenience to road users."

Whilst drivers are expected to not splash a pedestrian, they have to weigh that up against the risk to other road users, if they take any action to avoid the puddle.

The punishment can be between three and nine penalty points and a fine of up to £5,000.

Hampshire Constabulary claim the driver would have deemed the situation too risky to avoid the puddle.

A spokesperson for them said: "It is likely that the officer made an assessment that as they approached this junction, it was safer to continue driving through the puddle rather than stop abruptly and risk causing another vehicle to run into the back of the police car, or avoid the puddle by swerving towards the oncoming vehicle on the other side of the carriageway.

"It is clear from the footage that the police car was not driving at speed and drove as close to the centre white line of the road as possible, therefore putting as much distance as possible between the police car and any pedestrians.

"The driver behind the police car who recorded the footage was able to safely swerve to avoid the puddle as there were no vehicles on the other side of the road at that time.

"We are not aware of a complaint being made by the pedestrian shown in the footage but should we receive one, the matter will be dealt with appropriately as any other complaint would be."

The footage was filmed by hackney carriage driver Julie Matthews who was travelling with a passenger along the route.

It shows the squad car ploughing through the water and soaking a young man on the pavement – despite Mrs Matthews slowing down herself to avoid the water.

Her husband Paul, 53, who posted the clip on the internet said: “It was disgusting. The young lad got soaked and had to carry on walking. I am not saying they did it deliberately but my wife pulled around it herself and if you’ve got no choice you should slow down.

He said water regularly collects there during heavy rain and added: “We normally do all we can to avoid them. It’s filthy water from the road and can include all sorts of debris.

“They should have pulled over to at least apologise.

“If we had done it they probably would have pulled us over and spoken to us. They should run by the same laws as the rest of us.”