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Little-known rule that could land Aussie drivers with $575 fine

An unfamiliar road rule has got Queensland motorists hot behind the wheel.

The state’s Department of Transport and Main Roads has caused uproar online after confirming that drivers can't eat while on the road.

“You can be fined $575 and three demerit points if you don’t have proper control of your vehicle,” it said on Facebook.

“So make sure you’re not one-handing the wheel or taking your eyes off the road to eat.”

The little-know rule left many drivers scratching their heads.

A person holding a sandwich while driving.
Transport and Main Roads Queensland says drivers can be fined $575 and three demerit points if they don’t have proper control of their vehicle. Source: Facebook (Facebook)

“So you have to have two hands on the wheel at all times?” one person questioned. “That doesn’t make sense.”

“When you drive an 18-speed your hand pretty much stays on the gear stick as you’re changing gears so frequently,” another said.

“What about winding up a window manually?” someone else questioned.

Eating while driving is 'driving distracted'

After using International Sandwich Day to get to the bottom “once and for roll” on whether “the law lettuce eat and drive,” Transport and Main Roads Queensland was forced to jump back online to clear up the confusion.

“Obviously you’re allowed to take a hand off the wheel for a short time to operate your vehicle, but eating while you’re driving could be interpreted as not having proper control of your vehicle and driving distracted,” it wrote on Facebook.

“The law’s there to keep us all safe so maybe just scoff it down before you hit the road.”

A man eating a burger while drivng.
Some drivers said it would be 'ridiculous' not to eat while behind the wheel. Source: Getty (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Many users were quick to agree.

“I’ve seen people attempting to sauce pies and sausage rolls while driving,” one person said, “and then attempt to eat a piping hot pie which is just entertaining, and I think that may be a distraction in itself.”

“Don’t let a takeaway coffee or meal contribute to a chain of events that causes a tragedy,” another argued.

“If you stop and park to eat, you enjoy it more too,” someone else added.

But some claimed that not eating behind the wheel would be impossible, especially for those whose jobs were on the road.

“Try driving a truck for a living and not drinking water or eating while driving!” one person wrote. “To say you can’t do this and be attentive is ridiculous.”

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