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Super sized fines for fast food drivers

As recently reported by the RAC, 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 – thanks to new mobile phone laws.

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

So strict are the laws surrounding the use of mobile phones whilst behind the wheel of a car, drivers who use their mobile phones to pay for their food at a drive-thru are AUTOMATICALLY breaking the law. This is because they are technically using a handheld device behind the wheel. The resulting six penalty points and £200 fine is not only painful for your average driver but could also see newly qualified drivers stripped of their driving licence. 
Drivers who incur six or more penalty points within the first two years of passing their driving test will lose their license and may even be required to retake their driving test.

As the RAC explains “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).”
These 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.

Since March 2017, drivers caught using their phone behind the wheel automatically face six penalty points and a £200 fine. However, should the Police deem 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 – new driver or not!
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.”

Making student drivers aware of such quirks in the law is where good Driving Instructors come to the fore. Contrary to public belief, the role of a Driving Instructor is about far more than simply getting a learner driver through their test; it is about educating new drivers on as many aspects of vehicle and road safety as practicable.

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