Police in Indonesia have issued an advisory urging motorcyclists not to wear flip-flops when driving their two-wheelers, citing safety concerns.
"Not to discriminate against flip-flops, but they offer no protection. [One's feet] can be directly exposed to the asphalt, heat from the engine, fuel, and speed. The faster one drives, the less protection there would be. That's where things can be fatal," National Police Traffic Corp Chief Firman Shantyabudi said this week.
"You may say shoes are expensive and protective gear are expensive. But what's more valuable than our lives?"
In his statement, the inspector general may have specifically mentioned sendal jepit, which is the colloquial term for flip-flops. But his advisory practically covers (no pun intended) all types of open footwear.
If, like us, you have hurt your feet working your motorcycle's gear lever while wearing flip-flops, the advisory should make perfect sense. But in Indonesia, where motorcycles are ubiquitous for their practicality, many have complained that having to put shoes on to ride would be a hassle.
If you insist on driving your motorcycle wearing flip-flops, police have clarified that you won't be subject to any fines as the advisory is not part of any formal traffic regulations.