LawPath takes the time to respond to general legal questions in Australia that remain uncertain. In this post we will examine the conduct regarding driving in Australia whilst eating. Lawpath has also explored misconceptions about driving without shoes and driving with a broken arm.

The uncertain scope in Australia

Running late? Need to get to that 9am meeting? It is in situations like these that we grab food to go. Here is something that we are all guilty of doing: To save time we eat our food on the go whilst driving. It’s convenient, quick and we never think twice about it, right?

Whilst you might make it to that important meeting sustained from the egg and bacon roll you scoffed down on your car journey, have you ever considered whether or not it is actually legal to eat whilst driving?

It is not an issue of illegality.. Yet.

It’s easy to say that drivers who are driving whilst eating (steering with one hand) have slower reaction times to fast changing traffic conditions. When we put this into perspective it is actually quite alarming.

Concerns, aside it is not illegal in Australia to eat whilst driving. Under the Australian Road Rules 2008, rule 297, a driver must not drive if s/he does not have complete control of the vehicle. Conduct such as eating whilst driving can therefore be a factor that can be taken into consideration when looking at issues of control. However, it would be difficult to enforce the secondary conduct of drivers instead of primary driving conduct. (e.g. not indicating correctly)

Distracted Driver Laws in Consideration.

We’ve established that’s it’s not illegal to eat whilst driving. However, as the issue of eating whilst driving, becomes a bigger issue, road and transport authorities may consider creating specific laws to combat this. To date however, they have only gone as far as to create targeted campaigns.

Unsure where to start? Contact a LawPath consultant on 1800 LAWPATH to learn more about customising legal documents, obtaining a fixed-fee quote from our network of 600+ expert lawyers or to get answers to your legal questions.

Brodie Nettleton

Brodie is a paralegal at LawPath working in our content team, which works to provide free legal guides to enhance public access to legal resources. With a keen interest in Criminal and IP Law, her research focuses on small businesses, and how they can better navigate complex legal procedures.