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Driving whilst wearing flip flops could land you with a whopping fine

Driving whilst wearing flip flops could land you with a whopping fine

Published at 10:51am 29th May 2019.

Summer footwear can be dangerous to drive in

Summer is almost here, the weather is hotting up and out comes the summer wardrobe.

But before you break out the sunhats and flip flops and think about loading the car up for a trip to be beach - be warned.

Drivers are being told that driving in flip flops could land you with a huge fine.

Wait, what?! I do this all the time...

Technically, driving in flip flops isn't illegal - but it could lead to a careless driving charge if you're involved in an accident. Why? Because it might "impact your ability to drive safely."

Under Rule 97 of the Highway Code, drivers are advised to wear "footwear and clothing which does not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner".

Now, that devil flip flop could easily slide off your foot or become wedged under pedals, meaning you can't brake quick enough. This in turn may cause you to swerve out of the way and end up in a potential accident.

driving in flip flops could land you with a whopping fine
There's warnings flip flops might be unsuitable for driving - and could land you with a huge 'careless driving' fine

The police will be out in force...

Ok, so there isn't such a thing as the 'flip flop police' (that would be just silly!) but bearing in mind many forces across the UK will be launching their summer drink drive campaigns soon, you can expect to see more patrols on the road - and the potential of random spot checks too.

If you get stopped by police while driving in a dangerous manner or your footwear is a reason for an accident, you could be charged with driving without due care and attention (careless driving).

That carries a £100 on-the-spot fine and three penalty points on your licence.

If a more serious case, or it gets contested in court, the charge can attract a maximum £5,000 fine, up to nine penalty points and even a court-imposed driving ban.

police handcuffs
Extra police will be out in force for the summer months, so there's a higher chance of being stopped and checked

So, what are the rules?

The RAC has issued this advice for suitable driving footwear, as summer approaches...

  • Have a sole no thicker than 10mm…
  • … but the sole should not be too thin or soft.
  • Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals.
  • Not be too heavy.
  • Not limit ankle movement.
  • Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once.

This does technically make some types of footwear – such as high-heels and flip-flops – unsuitable for driving a car.