There has been a lot of reports in the media this week after “legal experts” warned UK motorists that it is illegal for drivers to use Apple Pay on their iPhones at a McDonalds’ (or any other) Fast Food Drive-Through.
Reportedly, motorists using their phone to pay contactless could be fined £200 (fine could also increase to £1,000 if your case goes to court.), hit with penalty points and possibly lose their driving licence.
New rules make it illegal to hold and use a phone, sat nav, tablet, or any device that can send or receive data, while driving or riding a motorcycle. This means you must not use a device in your hand for any reason, whether online or offline.
For example, you must not text, make calls, take photos or videos, or browse the web.
The law applies to you if you’re stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic, supervising a learner driver, driving a car that turns off the engine when you stop moving and holding and using a device that’s offline or in flight mode.
Some drivers could also lose their driving licence as any new driver that accumulates six penalty points in the first two years can face an instant ban.
However, “legal experts” warned that the new driving laws also apply to motorists making contactless payments with their smartphone. However, this is simply not the case!
The UK government has already made it clear that using Apple Pay (or Google Pay) is an exception to the new rule.
The exceptions to the new driving rules are:
You can use a device held in your hand if:
- you need to call 999 or 112 in an emergency and it’s unsafe or impractical to stop
- you’re safely parked
- you’re making a contactless payment in a vehicle that is not moving, for example at a drive-through restaurant
- you’re using the device to park your vehicle remotely
Not only does the exception refer to contactless payments in a non-moving vehicle, it specifically gives a drive-through restaurant as an example.
Of course, you still have to be sensible and make sure your car is not moving and has the handbrake on while you’re paying.