In an age of innovation most Aussies are embracing the benefits of technology. This includes welcoming a cashless world with open arms and making payments via a mobile phone.
However, the perimeters around when and where to use a mobile phone as a payment method has confused drivers around the country.
Victoria Police caused a stir earlier this month when they asked followers on Facebook to answer their poll on whether or not drivers could use their mobile phones to pay when at a fast food outlet’s drive-through.
Of the 51,000 people who voted, only 35% of the respondents answered correctly, having said no, while the remainder 65% of respondents said yes.
Victoria Police responded to the poll, clarifying that it is an offence to use a mobile phone to pay at a drive-through.
They further explained that in order to use a mobile phone as a payment method the vehicle’s engine would have to be completely switched off.
Victoria Police wrote: “If you intend to use your mobile phone to pay at the drive-through window, apply the hand brake…andthen access your mobile phone. In doing so, you are not considered driving.”
Victorians caught using a mobile phone to pay at a drive-through will be slapped with a $484 fine and lose four demerit points.
But Victoria isn’t the only state where paying at a drive-through with your mobile phone could make your fast food order a much more expensive one.
According to NSW Legislation, drivers must not use a mobile phone while the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked. It is an offence to use your mobile phone at any road-related area – an area open to public used for driving or parking vehicles.
A drive-through, as well as car parks, is considered a road-related area. Therefore, the same rule applies when using a mobile device to pay at a drive-through and is considered illegal nationwide.
A Transport NSW spokesperson said 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. There is no specific requirement in the rule for the engine to be switched off,” the spokesperson said.
“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-throughs.”
Below are the penalties for drivers in each state for being caught on a mobile phone while at a drive-through.
Penalties for using a mobile phone at a drive-through
NSW: $344and five demerit points.
ACT: $447 and four demerit points.
Victoria: $484 and four demerit points.
QLD: $391 and three demerit points.
WA: $400 and three demerit points.
SA: $308 and three demerit points.
TAS: $300 and three demerit points.
NT: $250 and three demerit points.