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25 July 2019, 11:54
Your summer sandals might look cute, but they could get you in serious trouble with the law
If you're planning on hitting the road this summer for a fun-filled mini break or a trip to the beach, think twice about your footwear.
The DLVA is warning drivers to ditch flip flops in favour of shoes or trainers because the flimsy favourites could land you in hot water with the police.
Not only can the summer sandals gain you nine new points on your licence, but it's also possible you'll be slapped with a £5,000 fine if the holiday go-tos slip off and cause an accident.
While it's isn't actually illegal to wear flip flops behind the wheel, Rule 97 of the Highway Code says that “before setting off you should ensure that clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in a correct manner".
This means if you're wearing flip flops when stopped by police for driving in a dangerous way, or you've had an accident because one of your flappy soles has slipped and got stuck underneath a pedal, you could be charged with driving without due care and attention.
In the majority of careless driving cases, the motorist is usually given a £100 fine and three licence points.
But if the offence is a serious one, police could raises the stakes and fine you an eye-watering £5,000 as well as putting nine points on your licence. In really severe or fatal cases, you could be banned from driving altogether.
The Driving Standards agency says “suitable shoes are particularly important behind the wheel,” adding they “would not recommend driving barefoot” either “because you don’t have the same braking force with bare feet as you do with shoes on”.
Car insurance firm Ingenie revealed motorists lacked clarity over the rules around driving in flip flops.
The company published a poll on Twitter, which asked people “Is it illegal to drive in flip flops?”, sparking a mixed bag of responses.
The results found that 30 per cent of the 236 people who voted thought the action was illegal, while 50 per cent thought it wasn't.
15 per cent of people weren't sure, while five per cent admitted they didn't know but drove in flip flops anyway.
Ingenie's CEO Selim Cavanagh said of the results: “It’s promising that almost a third of drivers assume driving in flip flops is illegal, because it’s really dangerous.
"They slip off, slide under the pedals, get caught between your feet and the pedals and if your feet are wet, they’ll affect your ability to brake if you need to.”
“Aside from the actual rules though, driving in flip flops can create a dangerous driving environment, and put you, your passengers, and other road users at risk."