McDonald’s customer, Mason Prima, received a ticket for using the app while ordering from the drive-thru

McDonald’s customer, Mason Prima, received a ticket for using the app while ordering from the drive-thru

This is an expensive free meal.

A McDonald’s customer was hit with a $425 traffic ticket when he used his phone to redeem a free meal from the fast food chain on May 13.

Mason Prima, 18, claimed he was waiting inside his car online at a Golden Arches location in Canada and was accessing the fast food chain’s mobile app when he was stopped by Saskatoon police.

Mason Prima says he was pulled over for opening the McDonald’s app on his phone while sitting in his car waiting in the drive-thru line on May 13. CTV News

“I can barely move. I open my app and look in the rearview mirror and there’s a motorcycle cop behind me,” Prima said He told CTV News.

The teenager assumed he could clear things up with the officer and show he was using the app, which allows customers to pre-order their meals and use vouchers.

“I just act like this and show him that in my McDonald’s app I’m uploading the code to get a free meal,” Prima said.

“I’m just trying to get a free meal, but no, it turns out to be an expensive lunch,” the teen added.

Prima claimed he always used his phone when ordering from McDonald’s and was never stopped for it.

The teenager assumed he could clear things up with the officer and show he was using the app, which allows customers to pre-order their meals and use vouchers. CTV News

“I was kind of shocked to be honest. I’ve never had that before — I open my app every time I go to the car and I’ve never had that problem before,” Prima said.

Prima argued that he was not necessarily driving, but that his car, a BMW, was just “rolling.”

“I didn’t put my foot on the gas or the brake. It was just rolling. It barely moved,” Prima said.

Saskatoon Police issued Prima a $580 fine, which amounts to $425.

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While the fine is a big price to pay for a teenager, Prima is more concerned about the blemishes placed on his license because he has only gotten one speeding ticket since he started driving two and a half years ago.

RCMP refuted Prima’s view of the traffic stop, claiming the teen was seen on his phone before entering the restaurant parking lot.

“RCMP can confirm that on May 13, 2024, the subject was observed operating a vehicle on a public road while using a cell phone,” the department said, according to CTV News.

Prima argued that he was not necessarily driving, but that his car, a BMW, was just “rolling.” CTV News
Prema says he was using the app so he could get a free meal he got through the app. CTV News

“A Saskatchewan RCMP Joint Traffic Services officer conducted a traffic stop on this individual. The individual then entered the McDonald’s parking lot, where the traffic ticket was issued.”

A local criminal defense attorney says there is still some ambiguity regarding cell phone use and the law.

“I feel for the individual who was charged here. If he was literally in…the driving zone and not on a public road,” Brian Pfefferel told the outlet.

RCMP refuted Prima’s claims and said the teen pulled into the fast food parking lot after the officer initiated a stop. CTV News

“I would venture to guess that the vast majority of people would be using their cell phones in groups like this, and that shouldn’t be considered illegal, but it’s obviously debatable.”

Prema is so confident in his account of the incident that he will not pay the fine and will instead fight the ticket in court in July.

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