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Why you could be fined for using your phone to pay at the drive-thru

If you use the drive-thru lane at a fast food restaurant, you could be fined if you use your phone to pay for your food.

Drive through

Tougher penalties were recently introduced for using your phone whilst driving and they could apply to people that use their phone to make a contactless payment at a drive-thru. Drivers that use mobile phone apps to pay at a drive-thru could be hit with a £200 fine and receive 6 penalty points on their license, according to a legal expert.

In the eyes of the law the only time you can legally use your mobile phone whilst behind the wheel is to call the emergency services when it’s unsafe to or you are unable to pull over. This means that if the law is taken literally, using your phone to make a contactless payment whilst behind the wheel could mean that you are committing a driving offence.

It has been illegal to even touch a mobile phone whilst driving since 2003 and the penalties were recently doubled under new legislation. Using your phone’s satellite navigation, changing music, texting and making phone calls are all illegal whilst your vehicle’s engine is running.

Whilst it is legal to use your phone via a hands-free kit, if the police think that you’re distracted by the phone you can still be penalised.

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) drivers are four times more likely to be involved in a serious crash when using a mobile phone.

The advice from legal experts, to avoid finding yourself on the wrong side of the law, is that you should always turn your engine off and apply your handbrake whenever you intend on using your mobile phone behind the wheel; even if you’re only using it to pay at the drive-thru.

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