Is It Illegal To Eat While Driving In Australia
Whether you’re just starting as a learner driver or already fully licensed, you may wonder if eating while driving is illegal in Australia. Most of us have grabbed a snack on a road trip or even enjoyed a burger behind the wheel, but is there a law prohibiting eating while driving?
Please note that this blog is explicitly for entertainment and informational purposes. For more information, you should consult your state, territory and/or city’s specific rules and laws.
In Australia, Eating While Driving Is Not (Technically) Illegal
No state or territory in Australia has laws that prohibit eating or drinking (non-alcoholic drinks) while driving. That means that you’re not breaking any specific rules when you eat while driving.
Does that mean you can freely enjoy chips and burgers while driving across every Australian territory or state? No, that’s not the case.
Eating While Driving Can Still Lead To Fines and Penalties
Eating as you drive may not be illegal, but you could still find yourself charged with violating traffic rules. All Australian territories and states require drivers to maintain proper vehicle control and operate with “due care and attention.”
This means you must never drive dangerously, even if you are distracted by snacks. You will be charged for violating road rules if you’re caught driving without due care as you eat and drive.
There’s precedent for this. In 2017, a 19-year-old woman was fined $300 and given three demerit points after she was photographed enjoying a bowl of cereal while driving. Although this is more serious than grabbing a chip while keeping eyes on the road, this principle applies to all kinds of food – if your driving isn’t up to standard due to eating or drinking, you could be penalised or fined.
Avoid Eating While Driving For Your Safety!
Paying full attention to the road without being distracted by anything in your vehicle, from your mobile phone to bags of chips in your cup holder, is essential! You should also bear in mind that if you are a learner driver, you’re particularly at risk of being fined for dangerous behaviour due to lack of experience.
Want to Acquire Safe Driving Habits? Contact LTrent Driving School Today!
LTrent Driving School is here to help those looking to get their Ls and Ps learn more about defensive driving techniques and safe habits in NSW.
No matter your licensing stage, we can provide professional instruction designed around understanding how to keep yourself safe while driving. Contact us online or call (02) 8748 4500 to enrol in our Safer Driver Course or book a driving lesson.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is It Illegal To Eat While Driving in Australia?
Eating while driving isn’t explicitly illegal in Australia. However, it could result in fines if it distracts you or impacts your driving ability.