A weekly column by Police Chief Steven Wojnar of the Dudley Police Department
Week of June 7, 2020
As strange as it seems, given our current situation, summer will be officially upon us soon. A common question I am asked during this time is can a person drive a vehicle with bare feet? I wanted to take this opportunity to provide some information on this.
The short answer, in Massachusetts, is yes you can. However, many other states do not allow this. Even though it is not prohibited specifically by law, I would advise against driving this way. Should an accident or other violation occur, the driver could be liable. One potential violation is “impeded operation.” It is found under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 90 Section 13 and states in part, “No person, when operating a motor vehicle shall permit to be on or in the vehicle or on or about his person anything which may interfere with or impede the proper operation of the vehicle or any equipment by which the vehicle is operated or controlled…” This definition covers many situations. The key phrase here is “on or about your person.” If the lack of footwear impedes the safe and proper operation of the vehicle, such as injuring your foot while moving between pedals, this can have a direct impact on your driving. A violation of this law carries a $35 civil fine.
It is important to observe the proper care while driving a car. Appropriate footwear should be one piece of equipment every driver uses. This small precaution could make a big impact in preventing an accident.
In addition to the Corona Virus Pandemic, there is a great deal of turmoil taking place in our state and around the country. We continue to serve the people of Dudley and work with the community to improve the quality of life for everyone. I continue to thank the men and women from my department for their continued dedicated service to the Town of Dudley during these trying times. Thanks also go out to the many Police Officers, Fire and Emergency Services members, public works and government employees, hospital workers, grocery and retail workers, and all other “essential” personnel for their continued hard work and service.
Thanks again for your questions and comments. Please send them to me at the Dudley Police Department 71 West Main St., Dudley, Ma. 01571 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Opinions expressed in this weekly column are those of Chief Wojnar only and unless clearly noted, do not reflect the ideas or opinions of any other organization or citizen.