Is It Illegal To Eat & Drive In Australia
Whether you’re a learner driver or an experienced, fully-licensed driver in Australia, you may be wondering if it’s illegal to eat and drive in Australia. Most of us have eaten some snacks on a road trip, or even a cheeky burger behind the wheel – but is this illegal?
Note: This blog is for entertainment and informative purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice. For more information, consult the specific rules and laws for your territory, state, and/or city.
Eating While Driving In Australia Is Not (Technically) Illegal
No Australian territory, from NSW to Western Australia, has any law against eating or drinking while driving (non-alcoholic beverages, of course). That means it’s not illegal to eat while driving – you’re not violating any specific rules, so you’re not breaking the law.
So, that means you’re free to grab a burger and chips and munch on them while you’re driving throughout every Australian state and territory, right? Well, not quite.
You Can Still Be Fined And Penalised For Eating While Driving
It may not be illegal to eat while driving, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be charged for it! Every Australian state and territory requires you to drive with “due care and attention” and to maintain “proper control of the vehicle.”
In other words, a driver must not drive dangerously for any reason – and this includes being distracted by a meal or snack. If you’re found to be driving without due care because you’re eating or drinking, you’ll be guilty of violating road rules.
There’s precedent for this, too. A 19-year-old Perth woman got a $300 fine and three demerit points for driving after being photographed while eating a bowl of cereal. While that’s clearly more dangerous than grabbing a chip or two while keeping your eyes on the road, the same principle stands for all foods – if you are not taking care while driving and are not maintaining proper control of the vehicle, you could be cited.
You Shouldn’t Drive A Vehicle While Eating – Pay Attention To The Road!
You should never drive a vehicle when eating – particularly if you’re a learner driver. When driving, you should always pay full attention to the road, and avoid being distracted by anything in your vehicle; from your mobile phone, settings on the radio, to the bag of chips you may have stuck in your cup holder!
Your safety can’t wait, but your meal can. So make sure that you avoid eating while driving in Australia to keep yourself safe and avoid fines, demerit points, and other penalties – particularly if you’re a learner driver or have your P plates.
Want To Learn More About Safe Driving? Contact LTrent Driving School Today!
At LTrent Driving School, we can help you learn more about road rules and how to drive safely in NSW. We always emphasize safe driving, discourage distractions, and help you learn more about the techniques you can use to drive safely and defensively as you get your Ls and graduate through your Ps to get your full licence. So don’t wait. Contact us online or give us a call at (02) 8748 4500 to get the professional driving instruction you need.