Whether you’ve visited Australia on holiday or live in this Great Southern Land, chances are at some point you would have been told that it is illegal to drive in thongs.
This urban myth is often discussed ad nauseum around a BBQ, over a beer or in the workplace and can leave participants wondering whether it is fact or fiction. So we’re here to ask, is it really illegal to drive in thongs in Australia?
We’d also like to point out that this article isn’t limited to just thongs. So if you’re more accustomed to Jandals (for the kiwis) or flip flops (for the Europeans and Americans) this guide is for you!
The burning question at the very centre of this guide. The very short answer to this myth is no, no it is not illegal to drive in thongs in Australia.
Australia is void of any laws that prohibit drivers from operating their vehicles whilst wearing any specific footwear (including thongs). The law points to the driver being required by law to be in control of their vehicle at all times when driving.
This could therefore present a cross over, whereby the driver could be deemed as not in control of their vehicle by wearing thongs. However you are not committing an offence just by wearing thongs whilst behind the wheel.
Yet for those of you in the know, Australian laws aren’t always blanket enforced across the country. Some minor differences and exceptions can exist from state to state which is what we will cover in our next section.
Whilst Queensland does have some downright strange laws (more on this later), it is not illegal to drive wearing thongs in Queensland.
Again, whilst a police officer may be concerned about your ability to control your vehicle whilst wearing a pair, there’s nothing in the legislation that can get you in trouble just for driving in thongs.
As mentioned before, Queensland can be a little quirky with its laws. For instance, did you know that it is illegal in Queensland to “fail to give way to a restive horse”. What does restive mean I hear you ask? Simply put, a restive horse would be one that is restless or likely to balk and run off. Who knew!?
Once again, no! You can drive in your thongs/flip flops/jandals free from prosecution (so long as you are not breaking any other laws at the time).
So you’re free to have a swim at Bondi, jump in your car and drive away – all in the comfort of your thongs! Yes or Jandals – we hear you New Zealand!
No! It’s not!
But reader beware, it is illegal in Victoria to dress up as Batman and Robin (according to chambers.vic.edu.au). So before you grab your mate and don the costumes, think again!
Nope! But with all the wild and dangerous critters up in the NT you may wish to wear a sturdier form of footwear.
Again, a resounding no!
Just make sure your car doesn’t contain more than 50kgs of potatoes at the time, as Western Australia has some strict and strange laws regarding how many potatoes one person can have in one place!
Nope, once again you’re free to drive your car in thongs. However, there are a few more wacky laws that can be found in South Australia.
For instance, if you crash a wedding or funeral in South Australia you can be fined $10,000! So before you think of crashing that funeral, remember that little bit of advice!
No. Feel free to drive around Tassie’s beautiful roads in your thongs!
Much like the other Australian states, Tasmania does have some pretty weird laws and acts. For example, the Aliens Act of 1913 (yes you read that correctly, aliens!) enables aliens to own and dispose of property within Tasmania. So if you see any little green men wandering around, they’re likely on their way back to their Tassie home!
Ahh the ACT. Where all the big decisions are made. Surely it would be illegal to drive in thongs here? Well, in fact no. It’s not illegal here either!
So next time you’re driving into Parliament, don’t be afraid to wear your thongs!
You can drive in your thongs in Australia. This much is true.
So when you next hear a story around the water cooler about “some guy getting pulled over and arrested for driving in his thongs” you can open up this guide and prove them wrong!
One thing to note is that whilst it may be legal to drive in your thongs, you do need to be able to operate a vehicle safely and remain in full control whilst you are behind the wheel. Failure to do so can get you into real trouble!
Thanks for reading and stay safe!