By Jeremy Rochow
Published: Thursday, April 23, 2020
Most of us have sipped our morning coffee, crunched on some chips or bitten into a piece of fruit while driving at one time or another.
And now, with restaurants only offering takeaway, it’s even more tempting to take a few bites of your meal on the way home.
Last year, a motorist in New South Wales was cautioned for drinking her morning coffee while driving down a highway.
Over in Perth, a 19-year-old was caught for eating cereal at the wheel. She was fined $300, the equivalent of about 60 boxes of Weet-Bix for all the cereal fans out there.
But could this habit land you in hot water on SA roads?
While you’d be right to think twice before downing a burger or sipping a cappuccino while navigating peak-hour traffic, there are no laws in South Australia specifically saying you can’t eat or drink behind the wheel.
So, chugging a milkshake or snacking on fast food after a pitstop isn’t against the law in SA.
Motorists caught driving without proper care in 2019.
But that doesn’t mean it’s safe.
If police deem your drinking or dining to be a distraction, you could be fined for not having proper control of your vehicle. It’ll cost you $193 plus a $60 Victims of Crime Levy.
In more serious cases, you could be charged for driving without due care or attention.
This could land you a court date and a fine of up to $2500.
RAA Senior Manager of Safety and Infrastructure Charles Mountain says motorists should avoid anything that takes their attention away from the road.
“When you’re behind the wheel, your focus should be on the road, not what you’re drinking or eating,” he says.
“Driver distraction is one of the biggest causes of collisions on our roads with the potential for tragic outcomes.”