Drivers have been warned that heading to a McDonald’s drive-thru now the chain is fully reopen could cost you your licence and £1,000.
The fast-food burger restaurants have now reopened every drive-thru in the country and huge queues have been seen up and down the UK as people rush to get their first Maccies since March.
McDonald’s has reminded people that pedestrians, horse riders and cyclists can’t use the drive-thru, while cars, vans, motorbikes and road-legal mobility scooters can.
But there’s another important rule to remember as people are being urged to use the app to order their food and speed up the process.
As well as ordering via the app – which you can do before you leave home – you need to know a unique code when you arrive at the drive-thru.
If you grab your phone for this while the engine is on – you will be breaking the law, even if you are on private land, reports The Mirror.
“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),” The RAC explains in its guide to mobile phone laws.
RAC spokesperson Rod Dennis told Mirror Money: “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.”
The penalty for being caught using a handheld device while driving is six penalty points and a £200 fine.
That means you’ll automatically lose your licence if you passed your driving test in the last 2 years.
If the police think yours is a particularly extreme case you can also be taken to court where you can be banned from driving and receive a maximum fine of £1,000 – rising to £2,500 if you’re driving a lorry or bus.
The easy way to avoid this is to make sure you don’t order or pay by phone when queueing for a drive-thu, or get a passenger to do it for you.
If you only discover you’ve left your wallet at home after you’ve collected the food, and need to use your phone to pay, you might also be OK if you make sure you pull to the side and turn off your engine.