What changes are being made to the Highway Code?
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Motorists across the UK have been issued with a McDonald’s drive-thru warning that involves paying with a mobile phone. Drivers who use Apple or Google Pay to purchase their food at a drive-thru risk receiving a £200 fine and six penalty points on their licence. The fast food giant has also shared advice on using its app.
This is because using a mobile phone while operating a vehicle is illegal.
Drivers have been urged to use a bank card or cash instead.
The new Highway Code rules came into force last month.
They now mean that drivers cannot even touch a phone when they are behind the wheel.
The rule is very little-known among drivers with figures showing that one in 10 Brits are now estimated to use their phone to pay for items at a drive-thru or petrol station.
However, the use of a mobile phone when the engine is running is strictly prohibited.
That also applies to a stationary vehicle.
And, if drivers are caught breaking the law, they will receive six penalty points on their licence and an on-the-spot fine of £200.
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This is because the punishment has now doubled from £100 and three points that were in effect previously.
Because of the new rules, McDonald’s has introduced signs around its drive thrus that urge people not to use their mobile phones and to use its app instead.
The signs read: “Tell us your app code to earn rewards” – with small print adding: “Do not use the McDonald’s app while your engine is running”.
People should, instead, download the four-digit code before arriving at the drive thru, at a time when it is safe and legal to do so.
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When the new law was first introduced, the director of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts warned the new law must be taken seriously by motorists.
Keith Hawes said: “The changes to mobile phone driving laws are vital to improving the safety of Britain’s roads. Drivers must take these rules seriously to help reduce the number of tragic deaths caused by violations.
“As the world evolves, these adaptations to driving laws are important to keep up-to-date with how technology is used by motorists. We hope these penalties are a strong deterrent to drivers who use their mobile phones behind the wheel.
“It is not just mobile devices that drivers should be cautious of. Despite no new rules being enforced on the use of internal infotainment systems, they can be a potential distraction for drivers.
“Touchscreens have become a common addition to modern vehicles, and the more complex they become, the more distracting they can be.
“If you are found to be not properly in control of your vehicle as a result of using dashboard gadgets or hands-free devices you could still be prosecuted.”
The rule can particularly affect drivers who passed their tests within the last two years.
If they receive six points on the licence, it will result in their right to drive being revoked.
Drivers also need to be aware that they can only legally use a mobile phone if the engine is off and the handbrake is on.
Police have also warned drivers that they should only use mobile phones in a vehicle if they are calling 999 during an emergency and it is unsafe or impractical to stop.
In every other instance, drivers must stop.
That law is also in force on private lands such as car parks, drive-thrus and petrol stations.
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