Stopping in a yellow box junction can already attract a hefty fine in London and Cardiff – but now the risk of getting a penalty is to be extended across the rest of the country from June 1, 2022. We also reveal other motoring law changes happening at the same time.
Currently, police can fine you for stopping in a yellow box junction anywhere in the country – but this rarely happens. But from June, local authorities across the country will be able to issue fines – as is the case in London and Cardiff.
Will I be fined after stopping in a yellow box junction? It will be more likely from 1 June 2022. (Credit: see image-based attribution)
Offering an idea of what motorists could be expecting once the changes come into force, Transport for London (TfL) issued 76,977 fines for yellow box junction ‘offences’ in 2020 alone.
Here is all the information you need to know about the changes to yellow box junction regulation and how it could affect you.
What is the law change on yellow box junctions?
There is no law change about how and when you can enter box junctions, but the change is that local authorities can now issue tickets to drivers who break the rule. Before 1 June 2022, councils could only issue penalty charge notices for parking and driving in bus lanes.
Where can I be fined for entering a box junction under the new law?
The changes on June 1 mean that all councils in England will be able to apply to the Department for Transport for the legal right to issue penalties to drivers for stopping in yellow box junctions. Many will be interested in applying due to the large revenues that are likely to be generated.
How much will councils fine for stopping in a box junction
Drivers who are given a penalty charge notice for stopping in a yellow box junction can be fined up to £130, but this can be halved if paid within 14 days?
Will I get points on my licence for stopping in a box junction?
No, the penalty will be purely financial. Local authorities cannot add penalty points to your driving licence.
Are there concerns about the new rules on box junctions?
Yes. Motoring experts and organisations, such as the RAC, have voiced concerns over how the changes will be applied and that drivers may not be aware of such changes.
The RAC's head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes has called on the rules to be "enforced fairly".
He added: “In the absence of definitive guidance on the design, maintenance and enforcement of box junctions there will be a high degree of confusion among drivers and local authorities, which could lead to an avalanche of penalty charge notices being wrongly issued and then having to be appealed.
“It’s absolutely crucial that yellow box junctions are enforced fairly and, as things stand, this may not be the case – which will mean many drivers will be treated poorly and lose out financially as a result.”
What are yellow box junctions for?
Yellow box junctions are intended to keep junctions clear for through-traffic to avoid congestion. They also keep a space free to allow emergency vehicles, such as fire engines and ambulances, a clear exit from their stations.
How do I use a yellow box junction to avoid a fine after 1 June?
Under Highway Code rules drivers are not allowed to enter the yellow box unless their exit is clear and there is sufficient space on the other side of the junction for their vehicle to clear the box completely without stopping.
There is an exemption, when drivers can stop in a yellow box junction if they are turning right and are prevented from turning by oncoming traffic, or other vehicles also waiting to turn right.
How you might accidentally get fined for stopping in a box junction
Research from the RAC has discovered flaws in the design of many box junction across the country. These cause many drivers to be trapped in the junction and forced to stop through no fault of their own.
There are also huge concerns that so many of the box junctions are so badly maintained – with worn out of missing painted lines – that drivers cannot see where the junctions start or end. This is particularly problematic in the dark and during poor weather conditions.
How long can I stop in a yellow box junction before I am fined?
There is no 'grace period' where you can stop in a box junction before the camera snaps and a penalty charge notice is prepared. The only time you can stop in a box junction is, as stated above, when turning right. Look out for 'no right turn' signs in these junctions, as local authorities will also be able to fine you for ignoring these from 1 June.
Is it just box junctions that will be enforced by councils?
No. Despite most of the coverage focusing on box junctions, local authorities will also be able to issue penalty charge notices for other moving traffic offences. These include the likes of driving through 'no entry', 'no left' and 'no right' turn signs. Again, previous to 1 June, only local authorities in London and Cardiff were able to issue penalties for these violations of the Highway Code.
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