By Dipo Olowookere
For a long time, there had been debates over the better way to drive a vehicle; either with shoes on or barefoot.
But the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) seems to have made a clarification on this and has now put the matter to rest.
The agency said via its official Facebook page on Thursday, September 15, 2016, that experts have advised people to drive barefoot because it was safer that way than putting on high heels, which could slip off the pedals.
However, FRSC concluded that if one has to drive with the shoes on, then such person must wear comfortable shoes with grippy soles, so as not to slip off the pedals while driving.
The agency noted that it was legal to drive barefoot.
“Contrary to what many people believe, it is legal to drive barefoot. In fact road safety experts would rather you drove barefoot than in thongs or high heels, which can slip off the pedals.
“Ideally, however, drive in comfortable shoes with grippy soles,” the FRSC posted.
A transport expert, Mr Bosun Aromolaran, agreed totally with the FRSC on this.
Mr Aromolaran, who operates a driving school in Lagos, told Business Post that they always advice their students to drive with grippy shoes if they must wear any.
He said driving barefoot gives confidence to the driver and a direct connection to the brake and throttle pedals for those who drive vehicles with automatic transmissions.
“Also, it has been observed that shoes get spoilt quickly when you wear them to drive vehicles,” Mr Aromolaran told Business Post.
A transporter in Lagos, Mr Audu Gambari, who drives a heavy-duty vehicle, echoed both the FRSC and Mr Aromolaran’s thoughts.
“For me, I drive without my shoes on. I cannot imagine wearing my shoes or slippers when I do long distance drive,” Mr Gambari said.
In the US, driving a car barefoot is legal, though the risks of barefoot driving remain largely debatable in all the states.
In the UK, it is also legal to drive with no shoes on as long as the driver can operate the controls safely.
However, what is illegal is driving a car with wet feet, because it puts the driver, passengers and other road users at risk.