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How to avoid breaking the law when paying for food with your phone at the drive-thru

By DeborahMorris  |  Posted: March 14, 2017


Apply the handbrake and turn off the engine before paying by phone

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If you use your mobile phone to pay for food at drive-thrus you could find it costs you more than you think.

Drivers using their devices behind the wheel with the engine still running, even if they are stationary, can be landed with six points on their licence and a £200 fine.

The police warning comes shortly after penalties for using a mobile phone behind the wheel doubled in a bid to stop the illegal practice.

But it also means that anyone who pays for food using their mobile phone - with Apple Pay or similar apps - could now potentially face the same punishment, reports Essex Live.

READ MORE: Steps you can take to use a mobile phone as a sat nav without breaking the law

On Twitter, Jay Chase asked Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Traffic if he could use Apple Pay while at a drive-thru.

GMP Traffic replied: "If your engine is off and your handbrake applied and you're parked yes. If your engine is on NO."

So it seems that as it is illegal to use a hand-held phone or similar device while driving, the rules are the same whether you are stopped at traffic lights, or stopped at the drive-thru.

The only time the law allows you to use your phone in a vehicle is if you need to call 999 in an emergency – and it is unsafe or impractical to stop.

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Read more from Surrey Mirror

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