Is it illegal to eat pizza while driving?

On a recent tour, someone mentioned that it’s illegal to eat pizza while driving in the state of South Dakota. As much as I’d love it if a law explicitly called out pizza, the truth is a bit more general than reported. Apparently lots of states have distracted driving laws, but they rarely identify exact activities that will get you in trouble. In 2012, the city of Huron, South Dakota approved an ordinance prohibiting unnecessary activities while operating a motor vehicle. Mayor Dave McGirr directly mentioned “reading the newspaper and eating pizza” as activities that would violate the ordinance. Texting while driving has a hefty $100 price tag while the more general “distracted driving,” or driving while eating pizza, is a bargain at $15. 

By the way, that’s Pete Genovese in the photo. He writes the famous Munchmobile column for the NJ Star Ledger and also penned both A Slice of Jersey and Pizza City. I took the picture around 2009 when a team of pizza lovers traversed the great state of NJ in search of the perfect slice.


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