Yellow Box Junctions
In this article
There are several ways you can control traffic on major urban roads and one such method is through the use of yellow box junctions. These are junctions where yellow criss-cross hatched road markings create an area where traffic can only queue under certain circumstances. The road marking was introduced in the 1960’s and it is now used throughout the country in all major urban areas. As well as being found in major junctions, you can also find these yellow boxes on the entrances to emergency services buildings and at level crossings too.
Why do we have yellow box junctions?
In many urban areas junctions with traffic arriving from multiple directions can become very busy. In peak times such as the school run and rush hour, traffic can become increasingly heavy and to ease the flow and improve journey times, box junctions are installed on many of these roads. These yellow box junctions are designed to stop waiting traffic from blocking the junction, restricting other motorists from entering or exiting the junction. Box junctions have a very specific set of guidelines and serious fines are handed out to motorists who disobey the rules.
Yellow box junction rules
No waiting or stopping in a box junction is allowed unless you are stopped from turning right by oncoming traffic or traffic also turning right. Rule 174 of the Highway Code states that you Must Not enter the box until your exit lane is clear and on a signal-controlled roundabout, you should not enter the box unless you can completely clear the roundabout without stopping.
Criticisms Of yellow box junctions
Motorists and many of the organisations representing them have several criticisms of yellow box junctions. Although they work well as a traffic control mechanism, many critics complain of councils using the yellow box as a source of revenue and issuing out stiff fines for even the smallest violation of the box junction’s rules. In some areas, the layout of the junction can be confusing and catch motorists out and a poorly designed junction can lead to a large number of fines for unsuspecting motorists.
How to avoid getting caught out by a yellow box junction
The key to avoiding a box junction penalty is to accurately assess whether you can clear the junction without stopping. When traffic is flowing, it should be relatively easy to cross without stopping, however in heavy traffic where vehicles are moving slowly and prone to regular stops, you should consider your actions carefully because if you misjudge the space in front, you could find yourself forced to stop in the yellow box, which will incur you a hefty fine. In slow moving traffic, it is advisable to stop just before the yellow hatched markings and wait till your exit is clear before proceeding. If you enter the box in slow moving traffic, the chances of you stopping and violating the rules is very high.
How to approach a yellow box junction on your driving test
To pass your driving test you need to show your examiner that you are aware of the rules governing box junctions, that you are capable of driving safely when faced with one and that you are not a hindrance to other road users when you reach one of these junctions. Approach with care, look further into the road to make sure your exit is clear and reduce your speed in good time so as not to slam the brakes if you realise it is unsafe to enter.