1. Is driving without shoes illegal in Nigeria?
Some time ago my friend was pulled over by some VIO officers. Papers were checked, lights and other stuff were in order, then oga said madam you were driving without your shoes on.
Lol I'm guessing you already know how that ended. The question now is, is driving without shoe an illegal act?
I'm not sure there is a specific law in Nigeria that criminalizes driving without your shoes on. At least I've checked the 38 offenses and penalties put forward by Federal Road Safety Corps FRSC (click the link if you want to check it yourself) and this is not one of them. In fact, sometime in 2016, FRSC had to come out with a statement posted on their Facebook page with clarification on the legal angle of driving with or without shoes. In that post, FRSC made it clear that it is not illegal to drive without your shoes on, as there is no such law in place in the Country.
So next time if you are stopped by VIO and are squeezed for the reason you are not having shoes on, lol my friend, show them the rules!
So the choice of driving with or without shoes is just a matter of preference. And I know a lot of us are not really big fans of shoes. Some of us prefer to just wear our simple flip flop or what we locally call pams and off we go. But is driving without shoes good or bad, for your own benefit?
Read on and I will explain it.
2. Does driving barefoot cause any harm for you?
So many persons prefer to drive barefoot, for it's a whole lot of fun driving without wearing shoes. A certain road transport operator echoed this stance with the following statement:
“For me, I drive without my shoes on. I cannot imagine wearing my shoes or slippers when I do long distance drive,”
But even when it seems like fun, however, you must be sure that you have complete control of the car even when barefoot. Studies and experience have shown that drivers lose considerable braking force when they step on the brakes barefoot compared to when they do the same with their shoes on.
This situation poses a real danger to the driver, other road users, and their cars along with pedestrians. In a situation where you can't get enough braking force when you step on the brake, you are likely to crash into the car ahead of you or be unable to stop the car adequately in an unexpected situation.
People with smaller feet seem to feel uncomfortable and less in control of the car. Their feet seem so small on the pedals so that they may not be able to apply adequate force on the control pedals while driving. These people seem to feel more comfortable and more in control when the drive with their shoes on.
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3. I don't drive barefoot, but I like bathroom slippers. Is it OK?
Even when there is no law against driving with bathroom slippers, you might be still be issued a ticket by Road Safety marshal or might even be prosecuted. How is this possible? Well if you have driven with bathroom slippers before, you may have noticed that the slippers tend to get stuck under the pedals when you apply them. This situation can pose a real danger and increase your risk of getting involved in an accident if it does not come off on time.
For instance, let say your slippers get stuck under the acceleration pedal and you must immediately apply your brakes to avoid an accident, the odds that you will get involved in the crash are very high. every reason why you should avoid and resist the urge to drive with bathroom slippers.
4. How about pams or flip flops?
If you must wear Flip Flops or Pams to drive a car, you must make sure of a number of factors. The sole of the pams must be thick and hard enough to avoid it getting stuck under the pedals to avoid the possible scenario mentioned above. If the pams or Flip Flops you choose to wear decreases your ability to safely maneuver the car and in the process put the life and property of others at risk, then you can be charged for reckless driving and endangering the life of others. Both are very serious traffic offenses and can be charged under Dangerous Driving Offences with a penalty of at least N50,000.
If you must drive with pams make sure the sole is hard enough to avoid getting stuck
5. So what is the good footwear for driving?
We at Naijauto.com strongly recommend that you always drive with your shoes on. When we say shoes, we mean those that completely cover your foot and have sole that are hard and at least 10 mm in thickness, those that won't get stuck under the pedals.
People complain that driving with shoes ends up spoiling the shoes. However, this can only happen in substandard shoes, moreover, your life and that of other road users' are more valuable than a pair of shoes.
Shoes are always recommended
There is no law that forbids driving barefoot or with pams and flip flops. However, driving with shoes is what we recommend and is the generally accepted option. We hope you were able to learn a few things about driving barefoot or with your shoes on. If you enjoyed this article, please feel free to share on your social media pages and also with your friends and colleagues.