Drivers warned they could face £5,000 fine and ban from driving by eating in their car

Drivers are being urged to familiarise themselves with the Highway Code rules to avoid fines and prosecutions for careless driving.

Driving can be hungry and thirsty work, meaning drive-thru restaurants and convenience stores at garages can often come in handy.

But while there is no specific law that prevents motorists from eating while driving, motorists may be prosecuted for careless driving if they are not in proper control of the vehicle.

Motor organisations often urge drivers to familiarise themselves with the Highway Code; specifically rule 148 which said “safe driving and riding needs concentration”.

Research by the University of Leeds suggested that the reaction times of motorists who were eating were up to 44 per cent slower than usual, The Liverpool Echo reported.

Careless driving is an offense that currently carries a fine of £100 and three penalty points.

In more serious cases, or those that are contested in court, the charge can attract a maximum £5,000 fine. On top of that, drivers could receive up to nine penalty points and even a court-imposed driving ban.

Seb Goldin, the CEO of RED Driving School, told the Express : ”It’s good to reinforce that people should not be distracted while driving. If you are driving a vehicle it’s your responsibility to drive it as safe as possible.

“People can get distracted while eating or drinking something. The classic example that escapes people’s memories in terms of fines when you’re driving a vehicle is eating or drinking something.

“You might think it’s safe to drive while holding an apple or a banana in your hand but you could potentially get a fine if it was deemed that by doing so you weren’t in full and safe control of the vehicle. It’s just logical stuff really.”

The unnamed 23-year-old woman was fined after scoffing her breakfast behind the wheel on the Queensferry Crossing, in the direction of Edinburgh, Scotland.

Police have started using an HGV cab to give them a better view of drivers and were shocked at what they believed they first saw.

She was pulled over and the officers then found the half-eaten bowl below the passenger seat.

In a Facebook post, police said the woman was fined £100 and given three points on her license as they continue their war on careless drivers.

They also stopped a man that was driving an HGV whilst both hands were grasping his mobile, using his forearms to steer the vehicle. He received a £200 fine and six penalty points.