Drivers will not get fined for using phones at drive-thrus

New DVLA rules and driving laws coming in 2022

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Drivers will not be fined for using their phones at drive-thru restaurants despite new mobile phone Highway Code rules. However, motorists will be fined for touching their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through the internet or pay for items while driving.

Previously, motorists could only be punished if they sent a text or made a phone call using a handheld device.

Some motorists have therefore mistakenly believed they could be hit with tougher penalties for using their phones to pay at drive-thru restaurants and road tolls.

However, drivers are actually exempt from fines in these areas as long as their vehicle is stable.

In a statement at the end of last year, the Department for Transport confirmed an exemption for drive-through restaurants and road tolls would be introduced.

But they warn this will only cover payments using debit cards and a card reader meaning motorists cannot make Amazon or eBay payments while waiting for their orders.

The new loophole was launched to ensure the rule “keeps pace with technology” on the roads.

They said: “There will be an exemption to the new law for drivers making a contactless payment using their mobile phone while stationary to ensure the law keeps pace with technology.

“This exemption will cover, for example, places like a drive-through restaurant or a road toll, and will only apply when payment is being made with a card reader.

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“It will not allow motorists to make general online payments while driving.”

Car insurance firm Ageas has also confirmed drivers “will be allowed to use a handheld device to make a contactless card payment while stationary”.

Arnold Clark has also backed up the “exemption to the new law for drivers making a contactless payment”.

Rule 149 of the Highway Code now states drivers “must not” use a hand-held phone whilst driving.

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They also urge motorists to not use a hands-free device as this could still be distracting.

The rule states: “You mustT exercise proper control of your vehicle at all times.

“You must not use a hand-held mobile phone, or similar device, when driving or when supervising a learner driver, except to call 999 or 112 in a genuine emergency when it is unsafe or impractical to stop.

“Never use a hand-held microphone when driving.

“Using hands-free equipment is also likely to distract your attention from the road.”

The changes were introduced after a public consultation.

The poll found that 81 percent supported changes to make it easier to penalise drivers using their mobiles.

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