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  • Writer's pictureAlex Maltese

Is It Illegal to Drive Shirtless in New York What Does the Law Say?

No rule forbids men or women from driving while shirtless. However, the definition of a public area includes the inside of a car. This means a person must abide by the rules of public areas when driving.

Every state has laws against people purposefully exposing themselves to annoy or harass others. In several of them, being shirtless is seen as nudity.

There Are No Traffic Laws About Drivers’ Clothing

There Are No Traffic Laws About Drivers’ Clothing

Even though there are no regulations on clothing, there are some things to avoid for safety when driving. These include boots that prevent using one pedal at a time and eyewear that reduces a driver's field of vision.

Driving Shirtless Could Attract Indecent Exposure Charges

Every state has a different definition of indecent exposure. Drivers must understand local laws before they unknowingly break any.

Indecent exposure necessitates intentional nudity meant to harass or disturb people.

An example is in California, where indecent exposure is defined as intentionally showing oneself to irritate or offend others.

However, in certain instances, the mere complaint of spectators that they are disturbed is sufficient to contact the police.

What the Law in New York Says

Drivers in New York are to abide by a comprehensive set of specific rules, many of which are routinely broken.

An instance is a law prohibiting drivers from placing any decal or sticker on a vehicle's back window. That family of stick figures sitting on the back of a person's car is a good reason for any police officer to stop them and issue a ticket.

However, no rule currently in the books forbids driving barefoot, though it's not a smart move. Experts advise drivers to wear shoes because they disperse weight on the accelerator. This improves the precision of the driver's actions.

Driving barefoot puts too much pressure on the foot's ball, increasing the likelihood of accidentally letting go of the pedal. The scenario is most probable when the foot is moist. Anyone that has ever driven barefoot can attest to how strange it feels.

Although flip-flops are permitted, safety experts strongly advise against wearing them. Flip-flops can come off the foot, especially when stopping unexpectedly.

It is evident that even though most of these are not actual laws, they are enforced to keep drivers and other road users safe. Also, they might intersect with a law that might get the driver in trouble if authorities draw the link.

A driver's knowledge of the law and road regulations can determine whether they get charged or not. This is why drivers should contact The Law Office of Carl Maltese immediately after the police arrest them in such situations.

What About Driving Topless?

In theory, men and women can ride around without shirts on. However, there are some peculiar cases that drivers should pay attention to.

While it is legal to be topless in public in New York, a person can get penalized if their conduct at that time is considered sexual in nature. They can also be charged for distracting other drivers.

Health professionals also caution against driving while wearing no shirt to avoid sun exposure. Therefore, if a person chooses to let it all hang out, they should be careful to use sunscreen effectively.

What to Do When Pulled over for Driving Topless

There is a thin line between breaking one law or another. The events that follow an arrest can influence the extent of the charge.

A driver should contact an attorney immediately after they are pulled over and charged for driving topless. Carefully listen to what the officers say and repeat them to the lawyer when they get there.

Long Island auto accident lawyers at the Law Office of Carl Maltese have years of experience defending road users in New York. One can also consult them in matters of jaywalking in New York and driving with headphones in New York.

Contact the Law Office of Carl Maltese - Experienced Vehicle Lawyers

Even though something is legal, it doesn't automatically mean it should be done. Drivers should consider the issues surrounding cruising topless before they do it. What matters is to safely get to one's destination.

The Law Office of Carl Maltese has experienced attorneys that have helped clients in New York recover millions in claims.

We offer a free consultation for drivers facing one road charge or another. Our lawyers can help prevent such cases from ruining an individual’s record.

Call us at (631) 857-3703 today to speak to an attorney.


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