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Is it illegal to drive in sandals?

Unless driving while wearing sandals causes you to drive carelessly, it is not illegal.

No, driving in sandals isn’t illegal but if it impairs your ability to be in full control of your vehicle, then you could still be pulled over. 

Sandals, slides, thongs, Crocs, jandals, flip-flops - there’s a wide variety of loose-fitting footwear out there and lots of colourful names for the stuff that we slip on our feet in a rush. But whatever you wear and whatever you want to call it, none of it is illegal. Unless, of course, driving while wearing sandals causes you to drive carelessly. 

There are often different rules (or variations of the same rule) for roads across Australia, but all states and territories are subject to Australian Road Rules. And according to Australian Road Rule 297, you must not drive a vehicle unless you have proper control of the vehicle. 

You can get pinged for this law by driving while having an animal or person on your lap, being distracted by hands-free technology, or wearing footwear that slides around and impairs your ability to use your pedals properly. 

A good idea is to drive barefoot instead of wearing sandals if it comes to that, since that means your feet won’t be slipping or sliding around. 

The penalties for driving without proper control of your vehicle vary across the nation but in New South Wales, according to NSW Roads and Maritime Services demerits schedule, you’re potentially risking a $448 fine and three demerit points.

In Victoria, as per VicRoads information on demerit offences, careless driving can set you back three demerit points and, in some cases, result in a requirement to complete a safe driving program. Similar penalties apply across the country. 

It’s also important to remember that if you could be found to be driving illegally, you’re risking any insurance agreement you may have in place. While you should always check your specific agreement for details, be aware that if you get into an accident while you’re not in proper control of your vehicle because you’re wearing sandals, your insurance agreement may be voided. 

But if you can speed down the highway in Crocs without it impairing your driving, then the only cops you have to worry about are the fashion police.

This article is not intended as legal advice. You should check with your local road authority to verify the information written here is suitable to your situation before driving in this manner.

Are you a serial sandal wearer behind the wheel? Tell us what you think in the comments below.