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December 04, 2021

Should eating-and-driving be illegal, too?

Forget, for a second, what’s been argued about texting-and-driving laws, that they actually make the roads more dangerous because now we have to hide our texting down by our laps, rather than doing it up high where we can still see the road.

Why forget it? Because even the most ardent supporter of texting-and-driving freedom must surely concede of its perils; if at least one person on the road can’t text and drive safely, then the law must do its best to limit everyone from having the chance.

Texting, though, is one thing while driving.

What about eating? While there are few laws that address eating-and-driving in Canada, one South Dakota town has just passed an ordinance to make it illegal.

According to a local report, Huron, S.D., has just gotten around to banning texting-and-driving, though within the new law is important language banning all “distracted driving.”

*Bing: The most expensive cars to insure

The mayor of Huron, home to almost 13,000, says that includes everything from texting to reading a newspaper while behind the wheel. But most importantly to today’s post, it also means eating.

Drivers caught eating-and-driving in Huron will be fined just $15 (the texting-and-driving fine is $100), but perhaps it’s a start for law enforcement.

Eating-and-driving, studies claim, is plenty dangerous on its own. According to U.K. research, driver response times slowed 44 per cent when eating behind the wheel. By contrast, driver response times slowed just 12.5 per cent when blood-alcohol content was 0.08 per cent, the legal limit across much of Canada.

Yet while texting-and-driving has already become taboo, there is something decidedly workmanlike about eating-and-driving. It’s not something that suggests a careless driver, rather what society views as a man on the go, so busy in his noble pursuits that he can’t even stop to grab a bite. (This was the same principle offered in defence of an Ottawa man, who was fined for eating chicken while driving this spring.)

Do you think eating-and-driving should be considered in the same light as texting-and-driving?

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...