Motoring experts have warned bantering Brits to stay away from dirty vehicles or risk a £5000 fine and imprisonment.
Dirty white vans covered in profound language and penises are a very common site on UK roads particularly during the wetter months.
However, the creators partaking in the drawing of genitalia graffiti and offensive words onto vehicles have been told to put their fingers down.
Under the 1986 Public Order Act, the vandals could be found guilty of an offence if they display any writing, sign or other visible representation which is threatening, abusive or insulting.
Dirty van owners who feel they are being intentionally harassed, alarmed or distressed by the behaviour can report the defacers to the police.
A person who is found guilty of this offence can be imprisoned for six months and fined up to £5000.
Owners fed up with ‘Van Goghs’ targeting their vehicles have also been told they could push for a charge of criminal damage.
If motorists catch one of the budding artists doodling on their vehicles and believe they have caused damage to the paint or scratches to the bodywork, they can take them to court.
Anyone found guilty of causing damage and the value is determined as less than £5,000, the maximum penalty is three months imprisonment or a fine up to £2,500.
Harsh autumn and winter weather can cause vehicles to get dirtier much quicker because heavy rainfall washes dirt and mud onto roads, creating a dark spray that clings to bodywork.
Tim Alcock from LeaseVan.co.uk says people must resist the urge to doodle on the dirt that accumulates on vehicles.
He said: “While driving on any British road it is common to see some sort of genitalia drawn on the back of a dirty white van.
“It may seem like a cracking idea to doodle on dirty vehicles, but owners may not see the funny side.
“If dirt and grime build up on vehicles, it may be tempting to have a bit of fun, but there could be serious consequences if the owner thinks they’ve caused damage.
“Doodling swear words onto vehicles, or prolific imagery, may also be seen as threatening, abusive or insulting by the owner who can report the vehicle defacer to the police.
“For a seemingly innocent act seen as a bit of fun by most, those found guilty could face hefty fines of £5000 and even imprisonment.
“Vehicle owners can be very protective of their automobiles so it is best to steer clear of any vehicle that isn’t your own.
“With colder and wetter months approaching, vehicles will be getting dirtier quicker, so it is recommended that owners frequently wash their automobiles to deter these so-called artists.”
(Lead image: Twitter / David Coverdale)
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