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Patch Poll: Should There Be a Ban on Eating While Driving?

Or would this action just be more unnecessary government intrusion?

A story was widely reported last week that the Oak Park Village Board was considering making it illegal for motorists to eat while driving. The idea sparked much discussion, but an Oct. 14 in the Oak Park Patch carried the headline: Relax: You Can Still Eat in Your Car.

Village spokesperson David Powers told Patch, "No specific direction was given on how to proceed beyond a general agreement that a discussion on ways to limit distracted driving should occur."

But now that the idea is out there, what do you think? With all the distractions drivers face, is eating while driving a public safety issue?

Last week's poll

Should the law license of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich be suspended? A total of 83 percent of Patch readers who answered said yes; 17 percent said no.

Kevin Barker October 17, 2011 at 02:35 PM
This sounds like a great idea! However, just like testing while driving, driving slow in the left lane, and talking on a cell phone when driving in a school zone, this would consume tax parts money to originate and hardly ever be enforced!
Chris Diehl October 17, 2011 at 02:45 PM
These types of laws are a waste of time in our legislative system and a waste of tax payer dollars. People need to know the laws and they will see that "distracted while driving" already exists... Why do we need to waste time and single out every distraction and build new laws upon it?
Stephanie October 17, 2011 at 05:56 PM
When I was younger, I was going to school and working two jobs to make ends meet. There were often times where I had no choice but to grab a quick bite to eat while going between school & work. To punish someone for eating in the car is too much. I'm a raging tree-hugging liberal, and this is even too much for my bleeding heart.
Alan Seagren October 17, 2011 at 08:11 PM
No, we already have a reckless driving law that covers all of these situations as necessary. We can't afford to tie up endless resources defining eating. Chewing gum, sucking a cough drop, ...
Marty Kay October 17, 2011 at 09:05 PM
I don't want government to micro manage our lives, but making it illegal to drive with a hoody covering the sides of your face seems like a better issue. Its like driving wearing blinders!
Charlotte Eriksen (Editor) October 18, 2011 at 12:58 AM
agreed, Alan. Thanks for commenting on this. It seems it would be too much to specify 'eating' as an offense.
Lisa Kelly October 18, 2011 at 02:15 AM
I don't want the government to manage my life either, however, driving defensively requires ALL of your attention! If you don't have time in the a.m. for breakfast, bring it into work and eat then!! I also agree that they shouldn't be imposing strict laws and wasting tax payers money on issues like this that can be expressed in public service announcements instead!
Jim Court October 18, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Imagine how easy Police work could become. Sitting by McDonald's drive through window and waiting for someone to take a bite of food. DWE . Driving while eating. Whats next.? Thinking and Driving?
Kent Frederick October 24, 2011 at 02:15 PM
In my view, it depends on what the driver is eating. Eating a hamburger or sandwich is not at all smart. It takes two hands to handle the food, and it's hard to repeated pick up the burger or sandwich, take a bite, and put it down. Finger food isn't such a hazard, whether it's candy (jelly beans, malted milk balls, etc.), french fries, potato chips, or popcorn from Garrett's. Grab something out of the bag or box, put it in your mouth, put the right hand back on the wheel.
Jim Court October 24, 2011 at 03:05 PM
Kent, The notion that the Police would have to determine what food is acceptable or not really shows the foolishness of the proposal. Texting obviously takes eyes off the road for protracted periods of time and makes some sense. Driving is a tremendous responsibility and we all should pay as much attention as possible to what we are doing. For the most part I try not to talk on the phone because I am aware of the divided attention and how it impacts the quality of my driving. Mistakes can be fatal to others and yourself.
Howard Hoffman October 24, 2011 at 10:56 PM
Jim, Exactly. The importance of safe driving cannot be overstated. Nothing we do is as dangerous to ourselves and others. There is no greater public safety issue.
Jim Court October 24, 2011 at 11:29 PM
Kent, Thanks for the response. Your thought process is deep and logical.
Jim Court October 25, 2011 at 12:03 AM
Meant to address this to Howard
Vincent Russell October 25, 2011 at 02:31 AM
Beans should absolutely be banned before and during driving. I remember long drives during vacation with my family in the ol' station wagon. My dad and older brother were definitely hazardous to the other family members' health.
Jim Court October 25, 2011 at 01:53 PM
Vincent, You are absolutely right. May I suggest that sauerkraut be placed on this list?

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