Motorists using drive-thrus face £200 fines under new Highway Code rules

1 March 2022, 10:41

Drivers could face a heft fine at a drive thru
Drivers could face a heft fine at a drive thru. Picture: Getty Images/Alamy
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

A new law means motorists could face £200 fines while they are waiting at a drive-thrus.

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Motorists in the UK could now face a hefty fine while they are waiting for their food to be made at a drive-thru.

In a change to the Highway Code, drivers risk six points and a £200 penalty for using their phones at all.

While it was already illegal to text or make a phone call, apart from in an emergency, while driving, now a loophole has been closed.

This means drivers are also banned from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists and play games while their engine is on.

Drive-thrus users could face fines
Drive-thrus users could face fines. Picture: Alamy

This could apply to drive-thru customers who use apps and online payment methods to pay for food in advance while they are behind the wheel.

The Highway Code now states it is "illegal to hold a phone or sat nav while driving or riding a motorcycle," adding: "You must have hands-free access."

It goes on: "You must stay in full control of your vehicle at all times. The police can stop you if they think you’re not in control because you’re distracted and you can be prosecuted.

“The law still applies to you if you’re stopped at traffic lights; queuing in traffic; supervising a learner driver.

"You can use a hand-held phone if either of these apply: you’re safely parked; you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop."

McDonalds have issued a warning to their customers
McDonalds have issued a warning to their customers. Picture: Alamy

While there is an exemption for those making contactless payments, but drivers will not be allowed to place an online order while they are queuing to collect their food.

McDonald's bosses have also warns customers to make sure they follow the new rules.

Their website states: "You must ensure that you obey all UK driving laws when using My McDonald’s app. As you’re not allowed to use your phone whilst driving, you should: build your order before you leave for the restaurant, or have a passenger place the order to collect when you arrive.

"If you are travelling alone in your vehicle, please ensure that you pull over to a suitable, safe place, stop and switch off your engine before using My McDonald’s app.

"When collecting at Drive Thru there is no need for you to touch your phone. At the order post please let us know you have a My McDonald’s app order to collect, give us your name and we’ll do the rest."

This change is set to come in on March 25, and will affect drivers in England, Scotland and Wales.