Paying with your phone at a drive thru could see car insurance axed and motorists fined

Paying with your phone at a drive thru could see car insurance axed and motorists fined

Coronavirus social distancing measures have forced many restaurants to opt for drive thru or takeaway options to generate profits during the crisis. This could leave many road users who usually opt to go inside a restaurant forced to try drive-thru lanes for the first time. 

However, many could be caught out by a simple driving law which could see road users fined or leave their car insurance in tatters. 

Using a mobile phone for non-communication purposes such as checking a menu is against the law and fines can still be issued. 

However, shockingly drivers can also be issued penalties simply for tapping their phone on a car reader to pay for their food. 

This is because the law states road users cannot use a mobile phone while a car’s engine is running. 

READ MORE: Police say no excuses for those speeding amid lockdown

Police officers on Twitter confirmed motorists could be charged for the simple offence after a confused motorist asked for the law to be clarified. 

A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police Traffic said drivers would only be allowed to use their phones if they’re engines were switched off. 

The statement said: “If your engine is off and your handbrake applied and you’re parked yes. If your engine is on no.”

Motoring experts the RAC also confirmed motorists should have their engine completely turned off before using a device. 

Spokesman Rod Dennis 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.”

Police in Peterborough boasted of issuing fines to a motorist caught using their phone while paying for food at a McDonald’s drive-thru restaurant. 

Officers issued a ticket for the offence last October and provided an example to other motorists of the potential risks involved. 

Posting on Facebook group, Policing Peterborough, officers said: “Driver issued with a ticket for using his mobile phone whilst driving. But where?

“Through the McDonald’s drive-thru and back around into the car park. 

“The driver was casually on his phone throughout without a care in the world for other vehicles travelling in and out of McDonald’s and without a care for the young children in and out of the restaurant.”

Car insurance companies may refuse to pay out for car damages if they can prove you were using a mobile phone while driving through the area. 

Insurers are likely to invalidate a policy if you break any severe motoring law as this could be viewed as negligence. 

Picking up penalty points is also likely to cause your overall car insurance premium prices to increase as you will be seen as higher risk of having a car crash. 

Published at Mon, 30 Mar 2020 09:01:00 +0000