Driving in Flip Flops

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11 Jul 2009 00:00 by canon999 Star rating in Paraiso El Alto. 7 posts Send private message

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Recently people have been concerned that the Guardia Civil are stopping cars on the Javea -Gata road and fining the drivers up to 150 euros if they are driving in flip flops.  Apart from the obvious safety worry of them falling off your feet while driving, the traffic laws states that you must wear full shoes when driving.  This means any shoe without a back can be against the law, not just flip flops.  And just think how many pairs of full shoes you can buy with 150 euros. Maybe a pair of driving shoes should be kept in the car throughout the summer!!

Who said the police in the UK were picky?





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11 Jul 2009 14:35 by the toffees Star rating. 35 posts Send private message

Hi

This is why I love EOS - I wasn't aware that it was illegal in Spain to drive in flipflops / not a full shoe until I read it somewhere on another forum on EOS.

 

 





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11 Jul 2009 17:17 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4018 posts Send private message

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Seeing as for 6 months of the year me and my flip flops are best of mates, when I'm driving I just slip them off and drive in my bare feet.

I always thought that this was ok...but is it?  Now I'm not sure!

Justin



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12 Jul 2009 08:08 by pilgrim Star rating in Costa Calida. 234 posts Send private message

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I know ladies that have driven cars using bare feet all their driving life. They all say it gives increased sensitivity for the controls and is very comfortable.

However, might be worth checking if that is legal in Spain and if not, why not?



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13 Jul 2009 19:44 by Roberto Star rating in Torremolinos. 3871 posts Send private message

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I've heard this one too, though frankly I find it incredulous; why would the police bother stopping cars just to check the driver's footwear, when just about every moped rider at this time of year has their flip flops on full view - the strike rate would be MUCH higher, and unlike driving a car barefoot (which I also do frequently), driving a motorbike of any description in flip flops is obviously highly dangerous. Still, I'll be careful not to attract the attention of any men in uniform with a foot fetish this summer (that rules out at least one bar in Torremolinos).



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14 Jul 2009 10:37 by dennismundy Star rating in Las Kalendas - Fortu.... 266 posts Send private message

It's just another money earner for the police.

Does anyone know if driving without the correct footware increases the accident rate?

They should be paying more attention to the mobile phone users where there is accepted evidence that it increases the accident rate.





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14 Jul 2009 11:41 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6942 posts Send private message

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Unfortunately Spanish police are giving fines for many things, flip flop wearing  & driving barefoot included (so I've been reading on other Spanish forums) so, whether the fines are legal or illegal, surely the point is just to wear sandals with straps around the back ?? There's enough to concern ourselves with without coughing up for a hefty fine. Spanish police are not to be reckoned with, it may NOT be right (often isn't) but there again I, for one, am not prepared to argue with them.

Having said all that I don't drive  but my OH does & he ensures he wears sandals with straps around the ankles to satisfy the police if he's stopped for whatever reason. If you've got cash to waste go ahead, drive barefoot or in mules/flipflops & risk it. You read it here people are being fined. On your own head be it !!



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15 Jul 2009 00:13 by bobaol Star rating. 2172 posts Send private message

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Quote Dennismundy "t's just another money earner for the police.

Does anyone know if driving without the correct footware increases the accident rate?

They should be paying more attention to the mobile phone users where there is accepted evidence that it increases the accident rate."

 

Yes it does.  Use Google and have a look and you'll see that flip-flops and bare feet are not recommended anywhere.  Police in many countries (including the UK) can use this to claim that the driver was not in control of the car.  Many accidents have been caused by using the wrong footwear and there is accepted evidence that it increases the accident rate (to paraphrase you) but as there aren't as many people who drive in bare feet as there are who use mobile phones then the figures are probably skewed.  Again, just google driving flip flops bare feet or whatever and you'll be amazed at the amount of hits you get.  Of course, those who do know far better than insurance companies, police services etc who have done surveys on this, much the same as people claim they are better drivers after a couple of pints because it makes them take more care.......

Also, like More, can't see the problem.  Is it a rebellious streak that makes you want to drive with that type of footwear?  People have reported you can get fined so why not just wear sensible footwear?  Seems stupid to me that people will want to test the system when there is no reason.  Is this just a macho thing to push things to the limit?

Mobile phones?  Yes, the Spanish police do clamp down on that as well, along with not wearing a seat belt.  Same as drink driving.  Basically, don't do as it really is stupid. (And after seeing at least a dozen drivers in UK today using a mobile phone I can't see why this has been brought up as if it only happens in Spain.......it patently doesn't).





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15 Jul 2009 09:36 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4018 posts Send private message

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When we lived in the UK I used to drive an Alfa Romeo 156.  Because the driving position was so bad I had to take my shoes off to drive, otherwise I would be driving with my knees up by my ears.

I really don't see anything wrong in it and will continue here to take off my flip flops to drive.  I don't see how driving with barefeet can be any different to driving with shoes on.

Justin



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15 Jul 2009 10:18 by VickiT Star rating in Bournemouth. 121 posts Send private message

When we lived in the UK I used to drive an Alfa Romeo 156.  Because the driving position was so bad I had to take my shoes off to drive, otherwise I would be driving with my knees up by my ears.

Crikey Justin - you must have been wearing killer heels!!!!





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15 Jul 2009 10:54 by canon999 Star rating in Paraiso El Alto. 7 posts Send private message

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Hi,

One of the reasons why I raised this issue in the first place is because there appears to be a huge increase in police activity in and around the Costa del Sol area. The example I gave is one of many I could have given of apparent police 'harrassment' of drivers, which I personally find offensive, and totally uneccessary. Have a look at previous posts in these forums and you will find many many more examples of drivers being 'fined' for ever increasingly obscure and often 'doubtful' offences.

I would like to point out one or two things, to try and dispel a few myths about the differences in policing in Spain and in the UK.

1. Policing in the UK is done largely by consent, whereas in Spain it is not.

2.UK police do NOT stand on virtually every roundabout and junction, all times of day or night, in cities,towns,villiages and el campo, stopping vehicles requesting all sorts of documents and production of glasses, high visibilty jackets, warning triangles,spare light bulbs etc, etc and to ensure all occupants are wearing seat belts. It is ILLEGAL in the UK for the police to stop vehicles in this manner,as they have to have a legitimate reason to do so, ie they witness a moving traffic offence or the vehicle is defective in some way. They are NOT allowed to stop vehiles indiscriminently or set up road blocks, only in exceptional circumstances, ie prison escapes or child murders.

3. Tourists and foreign visitors in the UK are not 'targetted' by the police in those areas where they visit or are resident. Here on the Costa del Sol, villages and urbanisations and other areas with large numbers of expats are regularly the targets of police activity. Obviously the inference here is that this is a deliberate policy, and I have absolutely no evidence to substantiate this, only my experience and of others having lived here for over 5 years now.

Bobaol mentions in a post below, in relation to mobile phones, and I quote, "I can't see why this has been brought up as if it only happens in Spain...". Yes police in the UK stamp down in these sort of things as well, but NOT in the manner they are here in Spain.

If I ever got the opportunity, I would like to ask senior policers two questions:

1.How many terrorists, rapists, robbers, murderers, burglars or thieves have you arrested as a result of randomly stopping vehicles. I suspect the answer is not very many.

2.How much money in fines have you collected as a result of randomly stopping vehicles. I suspect the answer is quite a lot.

Of course, offenders have to be caught and punished, and I am not for one moment pretending otherwise. What I am saying that it is blatently obvious to me, that certainly withing the last 12/18 months or so, police have moved into 'revenue collecting mode' and appear to be targetting more and more expat areas, which is totally unacceptable.

For those of you who think I have an axe to grind, and question why I live in Spain, the answer is very simple. I love this place and the people, but recently I sense a slight change in attitude towards expats. I may be wrong, and hope I am. I am approaching my late 50s, drive a 3 year old Spanish car and I live in a very small community between Estepona and Benahavis. I probably get stopped about once, sometimes twice a week, I have been breathalised twice at road blocks, along with a whole load of other people, and the only fine I have ever had in over 40 years of driving is a parking ticket in London in 1972.

So, you may say, what am I complaining about if I am going about my daily business. See if you like being stopped a couple of times a week for the past 12 months or so, or being waved through countless road blocks. It's not quite as bad as living in Nigeria or Israel which I have done in the past, but sometimes it feels like it.

Sorry about all that. Had to get it off my chest and I feel so much better for the experience!

 

Best wishes

 





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15 Jul 2009 11:57 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4018 posts Send private message

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Good post.

In terms of traffic it tends to be the Guardia Civil and not the police that do the roadside checks and road blocks.  I think they are just giving themselves something to do as I don't see the point in them at all.

They can be quite intimidating, especially when they do the road blocks and you have them stood there with machine guns!  All a bit unnecessary really...to catch people driving in flip flops!

Justin



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15 Jul 2009 13:43 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6942 posts Send private message

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Justin, I'm amazed at your responses especially as you've said what you've said !

'I really don't see anything wrong in it and will continue here to take off my flip flops to drive'

and

'They can be quite intimidating, especially when they do the road blocks and you have them stood there with machine guns!' 

Still, if you choose to believe you're above the law  (we assume it is law but, even if it isn't, you surely wouldn't want to be arguing with an armed 'I want your euros, regardless' totally law abiding upstanding member of Spain's Elite or... would you  ), & can cope with a hefty fine, no problem. Personally I think that's a crazy attitude.

We have been stopped by Traffico on motorbikes who were the scariest pair imagineable. The one speaking in Spanish to my OH kept tapping his holster. No WAY do WE want to cause THEM to react over something so petty.

SO..........



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15 Jul 2009 13:59 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4018 posts Send private message

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More, I have been stopped by the Guardia Civil on many occasions, and although they appear intimidating, my experience with them has been that they have always been very polite and most often friendly.  I'd rather not be pulled over by them but I have all my paperwork in the car and unless they stop me for doing something stupid then I always feel I have nothing to worry about.

Yes, I fully support their campaign to stop people wearing flip flops whilst driving, they are not suitable at all but they have never said anything about weating no shoes at all so until they do I see no reason why driving barefoot should be a crime.

I'll let you know what happens next time I get stopped....which I'm sure should be soon.

VickiT....if you ever get a chane to drive an Alfa Romeo you'll see what I mean!

Justin



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15 Jul 2009 14:17 by EOS Team Star rating in In Spain of course!. 4018 posts Send private message

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In addition to my last post, I was just checking some of the Spanish forums and it seems that the majority of the Spanish do the same as I do and simply take their flip flops off to drive, and the majority are very comfortable doing so.

If it's good enough for them it's good enough for me.

Justin



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15 Jul 2009 14:57 by morerosado Star rating in Guardamar del Segura.... 6942 posts Send private message

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I'm bowing out of the discussion after posting this, which I hope is taken in good humour.

 



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15 Jul 2009 16:51 by SpanishTogs Star rating in Gales. 174 posts Send private message

I daren't show my better 'arf that cartoon - will give him too many ideas!

Just to add my five-pennyworth to the flip-flop/barefoot discussion.  I always drive barefoot - I think it's much safer and can 'feel' the clutch much better (so keeps my husband happier) and my foot is far less likely to slip off the pedals as they can easily do with a smooth soled sandel.

Happy, safe driving!



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15 Jul 2009 17:29 by Goldie Star rating. 154 posts Send private message

Hi Justin I have just been on line reading the Costa Blanca News an email sent to the editor dated 4th July 2009 a lady driving wearing flip-flops was fined a 150€ I think this sends out a clear warning.

Goldie





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15 Jul 2009 18:06 by mariadecastro Star rating in Algeciras (Cadiz). 8577 posts Send private message

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You need to drive with diligency and full control but I cannot see the prohibition of flip flops or bare feet anywhere in the Driving Act.



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15 Jul 2009 18:50 by alamred Star rating. 245 posts Send private message

The Guardia around mojacar, lorca, turre, garrucha, arboleous, allbox, baza are very very vigilent on this.

I know of one person who was fined on the spot twice on same journey home, despite her protestations that she had already been fined and was driving home.

The fact nothing is issued bar on the spot fine, paid in cash, strikes me that it is just money for the boys as I very much doubt it is recorded and the fines "are pocket money" to the guardia

 





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