Motorists using cell phones to pay for a drive-thru are technically breaking the law, although they would have to be very unlucky to be fined.
Victoria Police triggered a backlash this week when road users were told they could be fined for using their phones to pay for food at a drive-thru.
“If you’re going to use your cell phone to pay at the drive-thru window, apply the parking brake, shut off the engine, then access your cell phone. In doing so, you are not considered to be driving, ”police said.
The post elicited a number of angry responses from the public, but while it may seem heavy-handed, Victorian law is clear on the matter: using a phone to pay at a drive-thru is illegal.
In Victoria, the fine for using a cell phone while driving is $ 484 and drivers are tied up at four demerit points.
In Queensland, motorists are fined $ 400 and three demerit points, but the state government is considering increasing the penalty to $ 1,000, which would be by far the most severe in the country.
The Department for Transport and Main Roads confirmed that Queensland’s laws were indeed the same as Victoria’s and gave similar advice on how to deal with the problem.
“If a cell phone is used for such payment, we recommend putting the vehicle in park or in neutral with the parking brake applied,” a spokesperson for the department said.