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'Very expensive lunch': Sask. driver says he got a cellphone ticket for using his points app in the drive-thru


A warning from a Saskatoon driver about using your fast-food app while in the drive-thru line — a trip to get some free lunch cost him a lot more than he bargained for.

“I’m barely even moving. I pull up my app and look at the rear-view mirror and there’s a motorcycle cop behind me,” Mason Prima told CTV News about the moment he was pulled over going through the McDonald’s drive-thru in Saskatoon.

He didn’t think anything of using the app, and needed it to get the free lunch that he had earned through reward points.

Then the officer came to his window.

“I just go like this and show him I’m on my McDonalds app loading up the code to get a free meal,” Prima said.

He thought that would be the end of it.

"I did think he was just going to let me go because I’m just trying to get a free meal, but no, turns out to be a very expensive lunch,” he said.

Prima says the whole process was a catch-22. He needed the app to complete his order, and it’s the first thing McDonald’s staff ask you when you pull up.

Mason Prima says he got a cell phone ticket for pulling out his points app in the McDonald's drive-thru. (Carla Shynkaruk / CTV News)

“I was kind of shocked to be honest. I’ve never had that before — I open up my app every time I go over to drive-thru and I’ve never had that issue,” he said.

In a statement to CTV News, the Saskatchewan RCMP disagreed with Prima's version of events.

"RCMP can confirm that on May 13, 2024 the individual was observed driving a vehicle on a public roadway while using a cellphone. A Combined Traffic Services Saskatchewan RCMP officer initiated a traffic stop with the individual. The individual then pulled in the McDonald’s parking lot, where the traffic violation was issued," the statement said.

Local criminal defense lawyer Brian Pfefferle says there is still a lot of grey area when it comes to technology and the law.

“I feel for the individual that was charged here. If he was literally in the … drive-thru area and not on a public roadway,” Pfefferle told CTV News.

“I would venture to guess that a great majority of people would utilize their cellphones in lineups such as that and it shouldn’t be considered illegal, but it’s obviously debatable,” he added.

Cellphone use while driving is clearly dangerous, says Pfefferle, but he questions the circumstances in Prima’s case.

Prima says he's only been driving for two and a half years, he's only had one speeding ticket in that time and is very careful to keep his cellphone out of reach, so he isn’t tempted to use it while driving.

“I didn’t have my foot on the gas or brake. It was just rolling. Barely moving,” Prima says.

Despite what the RCMP says, Prima is sticking to his guns — for now.

The fine he faces is $580, which for this 18-year-old is a hefty amount, but he’s most concerned about the demerits off his licence.

Prima said he feels strongly that he shouldn't have to pay this ticket and is prepared to fight it in court. That date is set for July 31.

We’re curious. Have you ever received a cellphone ticket for pulling out your phone in a fast-food line, or know anyone who has? Let us know at Top Stories

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