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TRAVEL & LEISURE

You Can Cop Mega Fines for Using Your Mobile Phone to Pay at a Drive-Thru

It recently came to light thanks to a Victoria Police Facebook post — and people are not too happy about it.
By Libby Curran
August 08, 2019
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You Can Cop Mega Fines for Using Your Mobile Phone to Pay at a Drive-Thru

It recently came to light thanks to a Victoria Police Facebook post — and people are not too happy about it.
By Libby Curran
August 08, 2019
  shares

It's a space usually reserved for local crime alerts, missing persons' notices and the odd cringeworthy dad joke, but the Victoria Police Facebook page stirred up quite the social media frenzy last week, when it popped up a public poll asking one little question: "When using a fast-food outlet's drive-thru service, can I use my phone to pay?"

When using a fast-food outlet’s drive-thru service, can I use my phone to pay?👀 Stay tuned for the answer later this afternoon.

Posted by Victoria Police on Thursday, 1 August 2019

A bit of a frenzy followed, as 55,600 votes came flooding in. Victoria Police, mercifully, gifted us with the answer a few hours after the initial August 2 post, dropping this bombshell: "No. Using a handheld mobile phone while driving carries a $484 fine and accrue four demerit points." They go on to explain, "If you intend to use your mobile phone to pay at the drive-thru window, apply the hand brake, switch the engine off and then access your mobile phone. In doing so, you are not considered driving."

Punters haven't seemed overly happy with the response, or the news that using a smartphone to tap and go might not always be quite as "convenient" as it's cracked up to be. Plenty of commenters argued that the law was bizarre and needed to be reviewed — words like "pathetic", "revenue raising" and "dumbest thing I've ever read" were thrown around a whole lot.

It seems Victoria's not alone, either. The NSW Government has similar legislation, telling Concrete Playground: "It is illegal to use a hand-held mobile phone at any time while driving or riding. If you want to use a hand-held mobile phone your vehicle must be parked out of the line of traffic."

And as for that Macca's run? "Mobile phone rules apply to drivers on all roads and road related areas. A road-related area is an area that is open to or used by the public for driving, riding or parking vehicles and therefore includes Drive-Thrus," the NSW Government confirmed. If you do decide to tap and go with your phone in NSW, you could be fined $344 and five demerit points.

While the Queensland Government hadn't respond to Concrete Playground's request for a comment at time of publication, its website states that you can only use a mobile phone "held in your hand" if you are legally parked. If you do use your phone, you could be fined $400 and penalised three demerit points.

So, next time you have a late-night junk food run remember to whip out the plastic (or cash) instead.

To find out more about the use of mobile phones in cars in your state, head to the Transport for NSW, Vic Roads and Queensland Government websites.

Published on August 08, 2019 by Libby Curran

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