In Florida, is it really illegal to drive barefoot?

So, this afternoon, my marketing girl mentioned there was a discussion on facebook about barefoot driving in Florida.  She swore it was illegal, that she remembered that law specifically from high school driver’s ed.  She shot me an email to ask and mentioned it would be a great blog post as “inquiring barefoot Floridans want to know”….

After careful review, I was unable to find any statute that directly states that driving barefoot or without shoes is “illegal.” That said, however, there might be civil ramifications for driving without shoes such as where the driver is found by a law enforcement officer to be careless for not wearing shoes and cited with say careless driving if say the driver’s foot slipped off the brake.

So there you have it…..

From what I can find, it’s not illegal to drive barefoot in Florida.

Safe driving.

 

If you or a family member is cited with a traffic ticket or DUI in Hillsborough or surrounding counties, Ingrid Hooglander can help you find the best solution for your individual situation. Contact her online or call (813) 902-3576 to schedule an initial consultation.

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    November 16, 2011

    Thank you for this post :-) I would like to add a little about the ‘careless driving’ bit.

    Yes, *if* you lose control of the vehicle because your bare foot slipped, it can be careless driving, but that isn’t limited to bare feet. As far as I know, any time your footwear (or anything else you wear) causes you to lose control, you can get cited for that. High heels and platforms are pretty obvious for making it harder to use the pedals, a flipflop can get off, a shoestring can come undone and distract, I guess big clumsy snow boots aren’t often a problem in Florida but can be difficult to drive in further north…

    Unfortunately some officers believe bare feet are more dangerous than any kind of footwear (some even believe the urban legend that it’s illegal!), and will make trouble for barefoot drivers. However as long as you are in proper control of the vehicle and the bare feet were only spotted after being pulled over for something else or in a routine control, a citation for careless driving should not stand.

    In case it ever comes up these sources may be of help to show barefoot driving is not unsafe:

    Michigan State Police website:
    ‘Careless or reckless driving would really be a stretch, as an argument could be made that a barefoot person has more control over the pedals.’ http://bit.ly/9I5fT9
    An officer recommending barefoot over heels or ‘other shoes that make driving difficult’: http://bit.ly/aXSsED
    Here’s an Australian insurance research director who says ‘shoes with thin soles and low heels are safest when driving [..] but driving barefoot is safer than wearing bad footwear’ http://bit.ly/aMS6rd
    And one more: ‘In fact, many times law enforcement and traffic safety personnel would recommend that if you are wearing shoes with a high heel or are oversized, that you remove the shoes (place them somewhere other than on the floor of the driver’s area) and continue to operate the vehicle with socks or bare feet.’ http://bit.ly/kMd9gg

    (I’m not an attorney but someone who goes barefoot often & I’ve done a lot of research on the legality of bare feet, driving, in stores, etc. Did you know that it’s also an urban legend that shoes are required to be worn by customers in stores and restaurants? Stores can set any dress code but the signs claiming it’s required by the Health Department are false.)

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