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Drivers Could Face Fines For Paying With Phone At Drive-Thrus

Drivers Could Face Fines For Paying With Phone At Drive-Thrus

Drivers have been warned not to use their phones to pay at drive-thrus as it could lead to a criminal charge.

Under UK law, it is illegal for a person to use their mobile phone while driving or while at the wheel of a car that may be stationary but where the engine is running.

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A legal expert has warned that while you may not know it, you could be breaking the law and slapped with a £200 fine, as well as six points on your licence.

If police believe your driving is particularly careless as a result of using your mobile, you could receive a £1,000 fine or even a ban.

Urging drivers to take care, Lauren Rae, a dispute resolution and claims associate at Dundee law firm Thorntons, told The Sun that even by 'touching a mobile phone' you are committing an offence.

Drivers have been warned not to use their phone while queuing at a drive-thru. Credit: PA
Drivers have been warned not to use their phone while queuing at a drive-thru. Credit: PA

She explained: "The legislation is not limited to using a mobile for making calls and texts - it is illegal to operate a mobile telephone, in any way, which detracts from the driver's attention to the road.

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"This includes checking social media, or playing and changing music. And it may also include using a mobile telephone to make contactless payments at a drive-through restaurant.

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"Put simply, touching a mobile phone whilst the vehicle's engine is running, could, on a strict interpretation of the law, amount to a criminal offence.

"To avoid falling foul of the law, drivers should switch off their vehicle's engine and apply the handbrake prior to using their mobile phone at any time."

An RAC spokesman also explained: "Every driver should always ensure they are parked and have their engine switched off before using a handheld phone - anything else could land them in trouble, even if they are in a car park, drive-thru or petrol forecourt."

Something to bear in mind if you're planning on visiting one of the hundreds of McDonald's restaurants that opened their drive-thrus this week.

Major food chains have been reopening for delivery and takeaway services. Credit: PA
Major food chains have been reopening for delivery and takeaway services. Credit: PA

Following weeks of lockdown, the fast food chain finally opened its window hatches (doesn't have the same ring as 'doors') to customers at 665 locations for Drive-Thru and a further 65 restaurants for McDelivery on 2 and 3 June.

Speaking at the time, a McDonald's spokesperson said: "We can today announce that by 4th June, 1,019 of our restaurants will have reopened, either for Drive Thru or McDelivery.

"This means every Drive Thru in the UK and Ireland will reopen between Tuesday and Thursday next week and we will start to expand the availability of McDelivery too.

"This is only possible following the hard work of the teams in our 44 pilot restaurants. Over the last fortnight, our employees, franchisees and suppliers have worked tirelessly to implement new procedures to enable safe working so that we can now help all parts of the UK and Ireland to enjoy the return of the Big Mac."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Food

Dominic Smithers

Dominic graduated from the University of Leeds with a degree in French and History. Like you, Dom has often questioned how much use a second language has been. Well, after stints working at the Manchester Evening News, the Accrington Observer and the Macclesfield Express, along with never setting foot in France, he realised the answer is surprisingly little. But I guess, c'est la vie. Contact us at [email protected]