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Outdated guidance could result in wrongly issued fines for yellow box offences

Outdated guidance could result in wrongly issued fines for yellow box offences

Local authorities have recently been given powers to fine drivers for yellow box junction offences, but the RAC has raised its concerns over a potential ‘avalanche of penalty charge notices’ being wrongly issued to drivers if government guidance is not updated. 

These concerns have been laid out by the RAC in a report, Enforcing yellow box junction rules fairly: the dangers facing councils and drivers. It says that official guidance in Chapter 5 of the Traffic Signs Manual does not clearly state the specific purpose of yellow box junctions, how to design them in relation to vehicle movements at junctions and lacks information on how they should be maintained and enforced.

The RAC also found that many yellow box junctions have design flaws, including installation in inappropriate places, large yellow box areas or ones placed where buildings or street furniture obstruct the driver’s view of the marked area could see drivers fined through no fault of their own. 

Author of the RAC’s report and former designer of yellow boxed on the Transport for London road network Sam Wright said, “The key design principle is that yellow boxes should be no bigger than is necessary to prevent vehicles obstructing through movements.

“They are not designed for, and serve no purpose in, situations where vehicles are travelling in the same direction.

“The second main condition is that drivers should have adequate visibility beyond the box to be able to make a clear judgement before entering it.

“It’s not just that drivers need to see the end of the box, they need to see that there is space beyond the box for their vehicle to fit without any part of it overhanging.

“Drivers may be surprised to hear that there is no legal requirement for authorities to meet this design criteria and it’s simply down to the competence of the enforcing authority.”

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