UK drivers risk £5,000 fines for breaking little-known Highway Code rule

A little-known snack rule could leave hungry drivers[1] slapped with a GBP5,000 fine. A clause in Section 148 of The Highway Code identifies "eating and drinking" as a distracting act purporting a risk to peckish drivers of being hit with a hefty penalty in a strict enforcement drive. The team at One Sure Insurance[2] specialists spell it out - eating while driving isn't inherently illegal, but the problem lies when it results in loss of control. "Eating whilst driving isn't illegal, but the issue is if the driver doesn't have complete control of the vehicle which is dangerous for the motorist, other road users and the public alike," said a spokesperson. "Eating often involves using one hand and focusing away from the road, affecting concentration and reaction times.

"You should find a safe place to pull over and enjoy your meal or snack. This way you will ensure you remain safe while driving and avoid putting others in danger while you eat. Remember, the road should always be your main priority.

Minimise distractions and avoid engaging in any activity that takes your attention away from driving."

Shoppers ditch pricier brand for EasyJet-approved travel bag that's 'so spacious'[3]

While munching behind the wheel isn't legally barred, if your burger blurs your gaze and hampers control, you might face charges for driving without due care and attention, reports Birmingham Live[4]. The RAC clears up confusion by stating: "No, it's not illegal to eat while driving. "However, if you get distracted while snacking behind the wheel, the police could prosecute you for careless driving if they consider you to not be in proper control of the vehicle, an offence which carries an on-the-spot fine of GBP100 and three penalty points."

The motoring organisation added: "Rules lined up for 2021 will make exceptions for contactless payments using mobiles at drive-thrus so long as the vehicle is stationary.

Just like eating behind the wheel, taking a swig of water or coffee while you're driving is not illegal, but it could carry the same careless driving penalty if you're accused of being distracted."


  1. ^ drivers (
  2. ^ One Sure Insurance (
  3. ^ Shoppers ditch pricier brand for EasyJet-approved travel bag that's 'so spacious' (
  4. ^ Birmingham Live (