There are few things more irritating than waiting to enter a yellow box junction, only to see cars from the opposite direction ‘trying their luck’ and stopping mid-box – when it’s obvious there’s nowhere for them to go.
Not only are these antisocial drivers preventing you moving when the lights are in your favour, they are committing an offence. The new Highway Code is quite specific – you must enter the box junction only if your exit road is clear. The only exception is if you are turning right, when you can stop in the box while you wait for a gap in the traffic.
So why do so many of us ignore the rule? The ‘tit for tat’ mentality kicks in – if ‘they’ are going to ignore the box, then ‘I’ can as well. Even if you find yourself slightly over the yellow box marking because something catches you out, you should still show restraint. A technical violation of a few inches will still allow other vehicles to use the junction unimpeded. There are no winners when the box junction system breaks down, so aim to be the driver who resets the equilibrium by setting a good example.