Supersized fines for fast food drivers

Supersized fines for fast food drivers
Motorists who hit the drive-thru on the way home from work might be unknowingly risking a hefty fine — and could even lose their licence.

Grabbing a cheeseburger, picking up a coffee or even paying at the pump could see drivers hit by a £1,000 fine and six penalty points due to mobile phone laws.

If motorists pay using their phones at a drive-thru, they’re automatically breaking the law by using their handheld devices behind the wheel.

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And for drivers who have been qualified less than two years, this punishment could see them stripped of their licence before they’ve even finished their fries.

As the RAC explains in its handy guide to mobile phone laws, “if your engine is running, your phone should be nowhere near your hands. This is still the case if the engine stops automatically to save fuel (called ‘start-stop’ technology).”

And the penalties can be applied whether you’re on a public road or private land with free access to the public, such as fast-food restaurants and drive-thru coffee houses.

READ MORE: Mobile phone driving laws — your questions answered

Following the introduction of tougher punishments in March 2017, drivers caught using their phone behind the wheel automatically face six penalty points and a £200 fine.

And should the police judge your case to be especially reckless, they could take you to court, where you could have your licence revoked and receive a maximum fine of £1,000.

RAC spokesman Rod Dennis warns motorists against being unwittingly caught out by the rules surrounding phone use when they next pay at the drive-thru or petrol pump.

He said: “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.”

SEE ALSO: 13 driving myths uncovered

A recent RAC survey found that almost two-thirds of UK motorists are unaware of the current penalties for using a handheld mobile device while driving.

For more information on the rules surrounding mobile use, check out Be Phone Smart, the RAC’s public campaign to end phone use behind the wheel.

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

Did you know, you can get fined for moving out of the way of an ambulance?

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