‘Eating a 99 flake ice cream’ could see drivers get £200 fine and points – ‘Watch out’

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With today being touted as the hottest day of the year, many drivers are out and about enjoying the sun. Despite this, one expert is warning motorists of potential fines and penalty points on their licence for doing a very common driving habit.

It is not illegal to eat while driving.

However, if a driver gets distracted while snacking behind the wheel, the police could charge them with careless driving.

This can be done if they believe the driver was not in proper control of the vehicle.

This offence carries an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three penalty points.

According to PassMeFast, eating while at the wheel could also count as “distracted driving”.

The police could issue a fixed penalty notice of up to £200 and six points.

These laws are largely aimed at curbing mobile phone use by drivers, but anything from tuning the radio to having a snack may be considered a valid source of distraction.

James Armstrong, CEO of Veygo said: “For some new drivers, this will be the first time they have the new found independence of being behind the wheel. 

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“While it’s exciting to head off for adventures this summer, make sure to watch out for some unexpected fines that could catch you off guard, from snacking behind the wheel, letting the car get too hot and wearing the wrong outfit.

“There is no better way to complete a trip on a sunny day than with a 99 flake ice cream.

“However if you are spotted munching on a snack behind the wheel whilst driving, you could face a £200 fine and six points for driving without due care and attention – that is an expensive ice cream. 

“If you need to grab a bite to eat, pull over and enjoy your food or better yet, stop and take a break from driving while you have lunch.”

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Drivers are also warned of littering when driving, as outlined in Rule 147 of the Highway Code.

It states that drivers must be considerate towards all types of road users, especially those requiring extra care.

This includes throwing anything out the window, such as food or food packaging, cigarette ends, cans, paper or carrier bags.

The following guidance in Rule 148 prioritises safe driving needing concentration.

It urges drivers to avoid distractions when driving including loud music, changing the radio station and eating or drinking.

In 2012, the University of Leeds conducted a study which found that drivers who snacked while driving had reaction times up to 44 percent slower than usual.

Motorists were also 18 percent more likely to experience poor lane control.

If a hazard were to present itself and a driver was eating, the extra time it would take them to respond could have fatal consequences.

Drivers are advised to eat before setting off, or pulling over to eat when on a journey.

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