We live in a world full of rules. Assuming you’re not a staunch libertarian living off the grid, it’s pretty difficult to keep up with all of them. In the case of driving rules, there’s a lot of confusion about what is and what isn’t illegal, as opposed to what is and what isn’t a bad idea. One of the most common questions is – is it illegal to drive barefoot?
We aim to clear up that confusion, no matter what state you’re in. Read on and we’ll tell you whether it’s illegal to drive without shoes!
Related question – Is it illegal to drive in thongs?
Is it a good idea to drive barefoot?
While it’s not in the category of drinking and driving, driving barefoot probably isn’t the best idea. The curves of your feet don’t match the flat profile of the accelerator or brake pedal, so you won’t get as much contact as you would if you were wearing a pair of tight fitting shoes.
If you were to have to break suddenly, you could also find yourself reluctant to smash your feet into the pedals, for fear of kicking your toe or slamming your bare feet on an exposed piece of metal. I know that sounds like a bizarre reason not to brake quickly, but you could unconsciously brake slower, even if you don’t mean to.
The ideal way to drive, according to police, is to wear a pair of properly fitting shoes that won’t slip around. If you’re going to drive barefoot, just knowing it could inhibit your driving might already make you drive a bit slower, and a bit safer. But if you have a spare pair of shoes you can afford to leave in the car, you should do it.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot in New South Wales?
No, it’s not illegal to drive barefoot in NSW. However, NSW road rule 297(1) says you must have proper control of your vehicle. That means that while you can’t be booked for driving barefoot specifically, you could be held responsible for an accident if police think your barefoot driving contributed to it.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Victoria?
No, it’s not illegal to drive barefoot in Victoria. However, Peter Pearce from Victoria Police warns that wearing inappropriate footwear can have an impact on having full and proper control of the vehicle. As such, Victoria Police recommend wearing sturdy footwear.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Queensland?
Nope, it’s not illegal to drive barefoot in Queensland. There’s some evidence that this is a particularly bad misconception in Queensland. In any case, it’s definitely not going to get you fined.
There is an exception to this rule in Queensland. It’s only legal to drive barefoot in Queensland if you’re driving a car – defined as a vehicle weighing less than 4.5 tonnes gross vehicle mass, built to carry no more than 12 adults including the driver.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot in South Australia?
There are no specific rules about what you need to wear on your feet while driving in South Australia. That means that it’s not illegal to drive barefoot.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot in The Northern Territory?
Nope, it’s not illegal to drive barefoot in the Northern Territory. In fact it could be something more Territorians should consider – a recent study found that 50% of teenage P platers in the NT wore thongs while driving. While it’s not illegal to drive in thongs, it’s not a good idea.
But instead of wearing thongs or driving barefoot, you could just wear shoes.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Tasmania?
Our smallest state also has small regulations about driving barefoot – it’s not illegal to drive barefoot in Tasmania.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Western Australia?
No, it’s not illegal to drive barefoot in Western Australia.
Is it illegal to drive barefoot in Canberra?
No, it’s not illegal to drive barefoot in Canberra. Expecting a quip? Nope, I ran out at Tasmania.
Conclusion: is it illegal to drive barefoot in Australia?
The short answer is no, it’s not illegal to drive barefoot in Australia. However, there are other reasons not to drive barefoot. You simply don’t get as much contact with the pedals as you do with well fitted shoes, and there’s a risk you won’t stop as quickly.
Add to that the fact your barefoot driving could be seen as the cause of an accident, and you’ve got a couple of great reasons why you shouldn’t drive barefoot. But it’s up to you – we certainly won’t stop you from driving a GoGet car barefoot.