The Great Debate: Eating While Driving

The Great Debate: Eating While Driving banner

We’ve all been there – rushing between appointments, feeling hunger pangs gnawing away, and spotting the welcoming glow of the golden arches promising a quick fix. But before you sink your teeth into that delicious burger behind the wheel, consider this: is it worth the risk?

The Legal Landscape

Across Australia, there’s no explicit law against eating while driving. However, the issue isn’t as cut and dry as it seems. Let’s take a closer look at how different states and territories handle the matter:

New South Wales

While there’s no specific law against eating while driving, negligent driving charges could be applied if deemed a danger. Penalties for such charges can range up to $3300 or imprisonment, with potential loss of license.


Similarly, eating while driving isn’t illegal, but if it’s deemed to affect your control of the vehicle, you could face a hefty fine of $619 and three demerit points.


Despite its strict road rules, Victoria has no specific laws against eating while driving...yet.

South Australia

Although not explicitly stated, distractions like eating could be considered dangerous driving. The penalty? A fine and potential loss of license.

Australian Capital Territory

Driving without proper control could land you a $420 fine if caught eating behind the wheel.

Northern Territory

Strong opinions abound here, with law enforcement discouraging eating while driving due to safety concerns.

Western Australia

A woman charged for eating cereal while driving set a precedent, facing a $300 fine and three demerit points.


Enjoy the drive, but save the snacking for later. A $195 fine awaits those caught eating while driving.

Safety First

Despite the lack of explicit laws, safety should always come first. Distracted driving, whether from texting or eating, poses serious risks to yourself and others on the road. Pull over in a safe spot to enjoy your meal – it could save you more than just money.

Remember, driving requires your full attention. Stay safe, stay focused, and save the snacking for when you're parked.

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