Is it illegal to drive in pyjamas?

STAYING in your pyjamas is always tempting, especially if you're just popping out in the car.

Mums on the school run often don PJs and even full make up to drop off the kids at the school gates – despite one headteachers plea to smarten up.

While some people might find it unsophisticated, is it actually illegal to drive you car in pyjamas?

Is it illegal to drive in pyjamas?

In short, no, it's not illegal to drive a car while wearing you pyjamas.

While you may get some odd looks from passing cars (and other parents at the school gates) depending on your pyjama choice, choosing to keep on your jammies before setting off is perfectly legal.

Rule 97 of the Highway Code states that "you should ensure clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner."

Just be sensible in your choice of footwear – specifically, slippers.

A simple pair of moccasins would be perfectly adequate, but opting for footwear resembling giant monsters or life-size swans is certainly dodgy, and COULD impede your ability to work those pedals.

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Flip flops too could be considered less than adequate footwear when driving and get you in trouble.

According to the RAC there are some guidelines for what footwear is suitable when driving:

  • Have a sole no thicker than 10mm, but the sole should not be too thin or soft.
  • Provide enough grip to stop your foot slipping off the pedals.
  • Not be too heavy.
  • Not limit ankle movement.
  • Be narrow enough to avoid accidentally depressing two pedals at once.

Is it illegal to drive in a dressing gown?

This is where things get more tricky.

Staying at home and wearing dressing gowns might have become the 'norm' this year thanks to lockdown – but be careful of those belts that tie your gown together.

A dangling furry belt could certainly impede your driving and lead to a very interesting conversation with a police officer.

Under the 1988 Crime and Disorder Act, it is also illegal to make rude gestures while driving.

It is therefore also very important to ensure that, if you do decide on wearing a dressing gown, what lies beneath is either more clothing layers, or something well hidden.

What are the UK driving laws on clothing?

The UK driving laws on clothing are rather simple.

The closest the law gets to identifying correct clothing for driving is Rule 97 of the Highway Code.

The rule states: "You should ensure clothing and footwear do not prevent you using the controls in the correct manner."

A breach of this rule is punishable with a fine of up to £5,000 and as many as nine penalty points, or even a driving ban.

But as long as your pyjamas don't prevent you pressing pedals, changing gears or holding the steering wheel you should go out with full confidence knowing you're a law-abiding citizen – who just can't be bothered to get dressed.

Ten things YOU should know as a car owner

  • When is your MOT due? Find out here
  • When is your car tax due? Find out here
  • Is it illegal to drive barefoot?
  • How many units can you drink and drive?
  • What do dashboard warning lights mean?
  • Is it illegal to drive without road tax?
  • Can you be fined for breaking the highway code?
  • How to change the address on your driving licence
  • What does MOT stand for?
  • Is it illegal to park across someone's driveway?

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