GEORGE TOWN: Driving in proper footwear such as shoes only applies to drivers of commercial vehicles like taxis, e-hailing cars, buses and lorries, says a prominent lawyer.
Datuk Baljit Singh said there were no rules against driving in slippers for drivers of private vehicles.
“Such rules do not apply to drivers of personal vehicles but when operating commercial vehicles, drivers must wear shoes, not slippers.
“Those who are using their vehicles as e-hailing cars to ferry people are subject to such rules as well, because in this case, their vehicles become commercial vehicles.
“This is very clear and all commercial vehicle drivers should know this,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Baljit was commenting on a recent video circulating on social media, which depicts a driver claiming that police checked whether he was wearing shoes or slippers.
In the video, a traffic policeman inspected the driver for apparently not wearing shoes.
“In this case, the driver was using a commercial vehicle and is clearly subjected to the rule, but the way the message was circulated seemed to suggest it was a private vehicle.
“Only when another camera angle was revealed did we come to know the vehicle inspected was a taxi.
“This caused people to criticise the police force. The driver should have known better,” Baljit said.
Penang taxi driver Norin Nordin, 40, when interviewed, said she was surprised that such a small incident could go viral on social media.
“It is known to us that taxi drivers must be properly dressed and in appropriate footwear when on duty.
“For myself, I have a white uniform with covered shoes. Even after my shift, I do not change my footwear,” she said.
Norin believed nearly all taxi drivers kept their shoes on when driving for fear of being given a summons, even when they were driving while not on duty.
“In the case of taxi drivers, we have no reason to say we don’t know we have to wear shoes as we are all trained before we entered this field.
“All taxi drivers have to go for a course and take a written test as well as a driving test before we can become taxi drivers.
“All the rules we need to know are taught to us, so we are aware,” she added.