« « Know your red lines | Key to the clearways » »

Follow the yellow box rules

It’s easy to misjudge box junction rules simply because they’re not that common, so unless you encounter them regularly, you may not know how to negotiate them correctly. Road planners insist that yellow box junctions are a crucial tool for preventing gridlock and keeping busy roads moving, and the penalties imposed on rule-breakers are there to deter drivers from selfishly blocking the road and adding to traffic problems. As box junctions are not signposted you’ll need to pay attention to the road surface. It will be outlined on the road ahead by a perimeter containing intersecting yellow lines in a grid pattern usually at crossroads or T-junctions and often controlled by traffic lights. Importantly, you can only enter a box junction when your exit road is clear, it really is that simple. So, whether you’re turning or driving straight on if there’s traffic ahead of you, you must wait to ensure there’s a space for you to clear the box entirely without stopping in it. The only exception to this rule is if you’re turning right and prevented from taking your exit road by oncoming traffic or by another vehicle that’s also waiting to turn right: in these instances, you are allowed to stop and wait in the box. At box junctions controlled by lights, the rules still apply, so if the light goes green and there’s no space ahead to clear the box, you still need to wait. Most box junctions are policed by cameras and if you break the rules you’ll receive a Penalty Charge Notice of between £70-£130. The only plus side is that you don’t get penalty points on your licence if you’re caught out.