Street Smarts

Herald Staff

Q: During the early 1930s, the Spokane police would ticket anyone for driving a vehicle while barefoot or in house slippers. With the mechanical brakes then in use, the brake pedal had to be stomped on hard for emergency stops.

Recently, I bought a pair of sturdy house slippers with thick soles but not as heavy as my slip-on shoes. In slippers, I walked the halls of my retirement home and hiked outside in comfort. The other day, I discovered, I was driving with my slippers on. With the power brakes in use today, braking to a quick stop is easy. Nevertheless, was I violating some law?

A: Lt. Mark Thomas with the Washington State Patrol said there is no requirement to wear shoes while driving.

“It is a good idea to wear footwear that stays firmly on your feet,” Thomas said. “While wearing a soft-sided slipper, loose fitting sandal or beach footwear, the concern is that your foot could slip off the pedal or get caught on the pedals.”

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