McDonald's drive thru customers could face £200 fine for common mistake

4 July 2022, 12:02 | Updated: 4 July 2022, 12:03

You could get fined for making this common drive-thru mistake
You could get fined for making this common drive-thru mistake. Picture: Alamy
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

McDonald's customers are being warned over a drive-thru mistake that could cost you a £200 fine.

Customers stopping off at a McDonald’s drive-thru are being warned against using their mobile phones.

Under a new law brought in earlier this year, motorists using their phone in any capacity whilst behind the wheel could receive a hefty £200 fine.

The Highway Code rule also applies when motorists are at traffic lights, motorway queues or even at a drive thru.

The only exception is if they need to make an emergency phone call or use their mobile phone to pay at the drive thru.

McDonald's customers are being warned about using their phones
McDonald's customers are being warned about using their phones. Picture: Alamy

Rule 149 of the Highway Code says: "You MUST exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times. You MUST NOT use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, when driving or when supervising a learner driver, except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop.”

In a bid to stop their customers checking their app while behind the wheel, signs are now dotted around McDonald's drive thrus which reads: "Tell us your app code to earn rewards" - with small print adding: "Do not use the McDonald's app while your engine is running".

Instead, people should download the four-digit code before arriving at the drive thru before they go.

You can only use your phone to pay while driving
You can only use your phone to pay while driving. Picture: Alamy

Anyone seen even holding a phone while driving - even if the car isn't moving - could be given six penalty points and a fine straight away.

In order to use a phone legally at the wheel, the engine must be off and the handbrake has to be on.

When the law was first introduced, the director of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, Keith Hawes, warned it must be taken seriously by motorists.

He said: "The changes to mobile phone driving laws are vital to improving the safety of Britain's roads. Drivers must take these rules seriously to help reduce the number of tragic deaths caused by violations.

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"As the world evolves, these adaptations to driving laws are important to keep up-to-date with how technology is used by motorists. We hope these penalties are a strong deterrent to drivers who use their mobile phones behind the wheel.

"It is not just mobile devices that drivers should be cautious of. Despite no new rules being enforced on the use of internal infotainment systems, they can be a potential distraction for drivers.

"Touchscreens have become a common addition to modern vehicles, and the more complex they become, the more distracting they can be.

"If you are found to be not properly in control of your vehicle as a result of using dashboard gadgets or hands-free devices you could still be prosecuted.”