Canadian teen says he was fined $580 at McDonald's drive-thru for using app; police dispute

An 18-year-old said he was fined $580 for opening the McDonald's app at a Canada drive-thru but police have denied his claim.

Mason Prima pulled out his phone at a McDonald’s drive-thru in Saskatoon on Monday so he could redeem a free meal using points through the fast-food chain's app, according to Canada station CTV News. Soon after, an officer on a motorcycle made their way to his window.

"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," Prima told CTV News. "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."

A car goes through the drive-thru at a McDonald's restaurant on April 3, 2023 in San Pablo, California.
A car goes through the drive-thru at a McDonald's restaurant on April 3, 2023 in San Pablo, California.

Prima said he's only received one speeding ticket after driving for two and a half years, the station reported. He added that he keeps his phone out of reach while driving to ensure he isn't distracted.

"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.

Police say he violated law before drive-thru

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Saskatchewan dispute Prima's version of the story saying the teen had violated the law before he reached the drive-thru.

"The individual was observed driving on a public roadway while using a cell phone. So not in the drive-thru lane," spokesperson Keely Grasser told USA TODAY Friday.

The driver pulled into the McDonald's parking lot where he was issued a traffic violation after allegedly using his cell phone on a public roadway, Grasser said.

Prima heavily disputes the ticket and said he is prepared to fight it in court with the date set for July 31, CTV News reported.

Distracted driving fines in Canada vs US

Saskatchewan drivers who are caught being distracted while driving can face a $580 fine and four demerit points on the first offense. A second and third offense the fine increases to $1,400 and to $2,100, respectively, joined by an immediate seven-day vehicle seizure if convicted.

In the U.S, fines for texting while driving can range between $25 for first-time violations to over $1,000 for subsequent violations based on severity.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Teen says he faced $580 fine at McDonald's drive-thru for using app