In the hot weather that we’re currently experiencing, it can be tempting to don a pair of flip flops rather than a sweat-inducing pair of trainers.
But what does the law say about wearing flimsy footwear such as flip flops?
You might even have seen tabloids like The Sun publish clickbait headlines along the lines of: How driving in flip flops could land you with a £5,000 fine, 9 penalty points and a road ban.
But is there any truth to these attention-grabbing reports, or is it all just a tactic to get readers riled up?
We’re here to answer all your questions!
Is Driving in Flip Flops Actually Illegal?
There is no specific law that says you aren’t allowed to wear flip flops, or even go barefoot.
However, there are still risks and alternative consequences if you choose to get behind the wheel without proper shoes on.
What Does the Law Say?
Rule 97 of the Highway Code states that:
Before setting off, you should ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner.
What Are the Risks of Driving in Flip Flops?
Flip flops do pose a risk of slipping off and becoming stuck underneath your pedals, but even just being barefoot could mean you don’t have the usual amount of force to break as quickly.
So if you’re driving in a safe and controlled manner, police probably aren’t going to have an issue with you wearing flip flops.
However, if they pull you over for driving in an erratic way, or your footwear leads you to get involved with an accident, you may well be charged with driving without due care and attention, otherwise known as careless driving.
In most cases, a careless driving charge will land you with three points on your licence and a £100 on-the-spot fine.
Could I Really Be Banned?
Most outlets have declared in their headlines that flip flops could lead to a £5,000 fine, nine penalty points and a driving ban, however this is in extremely rare cases.
If careless driving has led to a serious accident, there have been cases where offenders have been slapped with a bigger fine, more points or a ban, however this is far from the reality if you choose to wear flip flops and complete a journey without incident.
If wearing flip flops makes it more difficult for you to stay in control of your vehicle, you should take a sturdy pair of shoes with you and change into flip flops once you reach your destination, and this is what we would recommend.
However, you’re probably not going to go bankrupt if you nip to the shop in your flip flops, so you can rest easy.