Is It Illegal to Drive Barefoot in Australia?

Many of us have spent a good portion of our lives driving while wearing shoes. But there are probably some occasions where you haven’t had the chance to slip on shoes, which leads to the question: is it even legal to drive barefoot? The answer isn’t as straightforward as you might expect and can vary from state to state.

This article will answer some of the questions you might have about driving barefoot and the rules around this somewhat strange practice. Let’s take a look at the legality of driving without shoes and dive into the reasons why people choose to drive barefoot and the problems associated with barefoot driving.

The Laws on Barefoot Driving in Australia

Although there is no specific law that prohibits driving without shoes, the Australian Road Rules state that drivers must always have proper control of their vehicles. This means that if driving barefoot puts you at risk of losing control of the car, you could face penalties for unsafe driving. In theory, this makes sense but it can be hard to determine if bare feet do impact your driving as it can vary from case to case.

Potential Risks of Driving Without Shoes

Driving without shoes may seem like a minor offence, but it can actually pose serious risks for both the driver and passengers. Shoes provide us with the necessary grip and control to operate a vehicle safely, especially during emergency situations where quick reflexes are required. Driving barefoot or with only socks on can lead to slipping on the pedals or losing control of the vehicle, which can result in fatal accidents. Furthermore, driving without shoes can be uncomfortable and cause distraction, which may lead to unsafe practices behind the wheel.

The Legal Repercussions of Going Barefoot While Driving

While driving barefoot might be common for some individuals, it’s important to understand the legal implications that may come. In almost all states there are no specific laws that prohibit driving without shoes. But if a driver’s lack of footwear causes an accident, they could be held liable for any injuries or damages.

Additionally, some states might consider driving barefoot a form of distracted driving, which can result in penalties like fines or even licence suspension. These may vary depending on jurisdiction but there have been cases where some drivers have been charged. So it is probably best to be cautious and wear appropriate footwear to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.


In Australia, it is generally not illegal to drive barefoot. However, the traffic laws and regulations in each state are different and can change over time. The best advice would be to check with your local road authority for the most up-to-date information regarding barefoot driving. Although Australia’s stance on barefoot driving may seem more lenient than those of other countries, it can still result in heavy fines and even points off one’s licence, so proceed with caution.

 Photo by Julian Hochgesang on Unsplash

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