London, Sept 18 : A huge furore has erupted after the mayor of Rome banned prostitutes from wearing mini-skirts, hotpants and other skimpy attire, claiming that they are a dangerous distraction for passing motorists.
A decree from mayor Gianni Alemanno's office said that the "unseemly and indecent clothing" worn by the throngs of sex workers in the Italian capital, was a "cause of distraction" for male drivers.
"The business of prostitution produces serious disruption to road safety, due to the gravely imprudent behaviour, in violation of road safety rules, of those looking for sexual services," Telegraph quoted the decree, as stating.
However, the move was highly criticised for by a police union, which said that one couldn't define exactly what constituted unseemly clothing.
"Who will specify how short a skirt must be to establish unequivocally that there is an intention to solicit?" a spokesman told the newspaper La Repubblica.
Sex worker groups also raised their voice against the rule, saying that the decree was unworkable and they will mount a legal challenge against it.
The issue caught momentum when 3 men and 17 sex workers were issued 200 euros (158 pounds) fines by municipal police after the order came into force on Sept 16.
Prostitutes refused to pay the fines and called the new decree "an absurdity".