Are You Ready For ‘Money Box’ Junctions?

Fri 11th Sep 2020

Motoring organisations are warning that additional powers handed down to local councils are in danger of being exploited by cash hungry authorities.

The Department for Transport has given the go-ahead for yellow box junctions to be used to fine motorists who stop in them, with a £130 fine for those who break the rules for a ‘moving traffic violation’.

While stopping in a yellow box junction has always been an offence, they are very rarely punished across the UK, except in London and Cardiff where eagle-eyed cameras trap drivers and help drive up to £60m a year.

A recent RAC poll found that eight out of ten drivers fail to negotiate their way out of a yellow box junction and that a third have ended up stuck in one due to the vehicle in front stopping.

“Most motorists think local authorities will rush to install cameras as a way to generate extra revenue. Four out of ten drivers we spoke to fear road layouts and signage will be made deliberately confusing to increase the number of penalties issued,” says Nicholas Lyes of the RAC.

“Local authorities should consider sending first offenders a warning letter – and to only issue a penalty if they repeat the offence later on.”

But while the rule 174 in the Highway Code seems fairly simple, stop and you are caught. There are a range of often confusing exceptions which could lead to a flurry of appeals once the cameras are introduced over the next 12 months.

“Yellow box junctions can be hugely confusing,” says Barrie Segal, from advice website AppealNow.

“If someone cuts you up or the road markings are not clear you might be stung with a fine that is wrong and unfair.

“In fact, councils often issue fines for offences when they do not understand the law. All they are really interested in is taking your money. 

“If someone cuts across a free space and leaves you stranded in the box – it could even be a fire engine or ambulance – you should consider fighting to overturn the penalty. And if you cannot see the markings because they are rubbed out – or even if they look to have been put in the wrong place – you could also have grounds for an appeal.”