UK drivers may face fines, lose licence at McDonald's drive-thrus. Here's how

Speeding, not abiding by signals, drunken driving and many more such road rule violations invite hefty fines and often come at cost of people losing their driving licence. In the UK, authorities are now cracking down heavily on people who may be using their phones at drive-thrus regardless of their need to do so.

Customers queue in their cars at a McDonald's drive-thru in Dunstable (UK). (REUTERS)
Customers queue in their cars at a McDonald's drive-thru in Dunstable (UK).

Hundreds of McDonald's drive-thrus have opened up across the UK after a lockdown forced a suspension spanning weeks. Many of these outlets have seen serpentine queues of vehicles with people inside eagerly waiting for their turn for a bite. The fast-food company here has been encouraging people to use their phones and pre-order their meals before reaching the drive-thru counters. And yet, authorities warn that unless a vehicle is safely parked with its engine off, using a phone for any purpose will be deemed a traffic violation.

UK's Mirror reported that authorities are enforcing the rule even on private land which means customers edging forward at drive-thrus while placing orders on their phones are liable for fines, or worse, licence confiscation. The report further makes note that while cops are not too likely to screen vehicles at drive-thrus for such violations, drivers can nonetheless be liable for penalty if found violating the rule.

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While using a phone while driving invites a 200-pound fine in the UK, this can go up exponentially to around 2,500 pounds in the most extreme cases. What could help determine matters are CCTVs that are aplenty around McDonald's and other such outlets. If a driver bumps into another car and it is revealed that he or she was using a phone at the time, a strict penalty may be imposed.

While the rule is not just applicable to McDonald's drive-thrus, these outlets remain the focus area because hundreds of cars have lined up in past several days to grab a bite. And this is not just in the UK but in several cities in the US as well as in New Zealand.

First Published Date: 06 Jun 2020, 15:08 PM IST
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