Is It Illegal to Use Apple Pay in Fast Food Drive-Thrus? New UK Law Has People Scratching Their Heads

McDonalds Fast Food Drive Thru Credit: Tama2u / Shutterstock
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A new code in the UK has left many people wondering if they can use Apple Pay while they’re buying food (or paying for anything) while in their cars. 

Fortunately, for UK drivers, they won’t get fined just for using Apple Pay, but they’ll still need to be careful..

UK Drivers Can’t Hold Their Phone While Driving

There are new rules in the UK Highway Code that were released back in June. Now, people in the UK can’t even hold their phones while driving. 

If you get caught using or doing as little as holding your phone while you’re driving your car, you may get a £200 fine. Additionally, you might get up to six penalty points on your driver’s license too. 

This applies even if your iPhone is in airplane mode or if you’re stopped by traffic or traffic lights.

This is, of course, a great way to make drivers stop using their phones while driving, which has caused over 26,000 deaths between 2012 and 2019 in the US alone.

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However, despite how good this is for drivers and pedestrians, it left a lot of people questioning whether or not they can use contactless payment methods.

A spokesperson from the Royal Automobile Club, or RAC for short, told BirminghamLive that “Every driver should always ensure they are parked and have their engine switched off before using a handheld phone – anything else could land them in trouble, even if they are in a car park, drive-thru or petrol forecourt.”

Is It Illegal to Use Apple Pay in Drive-Thrus?

This caused many people to ask on social media if it was illegal to use Apple Pay in drive-thrus. This would make using your iPhone to pay for your food in places like McDonald’s, Burger King, or KFC illegal and could result in you having to pay fines on top of paying for your food. 

Fortunately for all Apple and food lovers, it’s not illegal to use Apple Pay to pay for your food. 

While many of us believed it was, the UK government had already made it clear that using Apple Pay is an exception to the new rule. 

To be more specific, you can use your phone if “you’re making a contactless payment in a vehicle that is not moving, for example, at a drive-through restaurant.”

In case you’re wondering, you’re also allowed to use your devices hands-free, which means you can still talk to Siri and ask for directions without getting a fine. 

So, there you have it. You won’t get fined just by paying for your lunch, but you still should be careful with your phone while you drive. According to Bankrate, texting and driving have the same effect as if you drank four beers in just one hour.

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