YELLLOW BOX JUNCTIONS
Rule 174 of The Highway code states the following:
"Box junctions. These have criss-cross yellow lines painted on the road (see ‘Road markings’). You MUST NOT enter the box until your exit road or lane is clear. However, you may enter the box and wait when you want to turn right, and are only stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic, or by other vehicles waiting to turn right. At signalled roundabouts you MUST NOT enter the box unless you can cross over it completely without stopping."
[Law TSRGD regs 10(1) & 29(2)] This has now been updated by the TSRGD 2016 but is essentially the same.
This is what The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 say about box junctions
Interpretation of Part II of Schedule
6. In this Part of this Schedule -
(a) "box junction" means the area of carriageway marked with yellow cross-hatching at a junction between two or more roads on which there has been placed the road marking shown in diagram 1043 or 1044; and
(b) a reference (however expressed) to a vehicle which is stationary or stops within a box junction includes a vehicle which is stationary whilst part of it is within the box junction.
Prohibition conveyed by markings in diagram 1043 or 1044
7. - (1) Except when placed in the circumstances described in paragraph 8, the road markings shown in diagrams 1043 and 1044 shall each convey the prohibition that no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of stationary vehicles.
(2) The prohibition in sub-paragraph (1) does not apply to any person -
(a) who causes a vehicle to enter the box junction (other than a box junction at a roundabout) for the purpose of turning right; and
(b) stops it within the box junction for so long as it is prevented from completing the right turn by oncoming vehicles or other vehicles which are stationary whilst waiting to complete a right turn.
Prohibition conveyed when markings are placed in conjunction with signs in diagrams 615 and 811
8. When the road marking shown in diagram 1043 or 1044 is placed in conjunction with the signs shown in diagrams 615 and 811 on an area of carriageway which is less than 4.5 metres wide at its narrowest point, the road marking shall convey the prohibition that no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of oncoming vehicles or other stationary vehicles beyond the box junction.
If you get a Penalty Charge Notice for stopping in a box junction it will be issued by post under The London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003.
You should note that the Highway Code offers sensible advice about not entering the box junction if your exit is not clear but it is not mandatory and there is no penalty if you fail to follow this recommendation (but that failure could be used against you if there was an accident). The critical issue for the issuing of a ticket is if you entered the box junction and stopped in it due to the presence of stationary vehicles. That is the test.
What To Do If You Receive A Yellow Box Penalty Charge Notice
1. If you receive a penalty charge notice for stopping in a yellow box it is very important that you read the notice very carefully. It's important to check 4 things.
a. The registration number of your vehicle.
b. The location of the alleged contravention.
c. The date of the alleged contravention.
d. The time of the alleged contravention.
2. Make sure that first of all the vehicle registration number described in the notice is in fact your vehicle. If it is not the penalty charge cannot be enforced against you but you will nevertheless need to make an appeal.
3. Check the location and see if you can confirm in some way that your vehicle was at the location shown and was there at both the date AND time shown. If you can prove that you were not at the location or were there but not on the date or at the time shown this is an important appeal point.
4. If you had an unimpeded access to the space on the other side of the yellow box when you entered it and then another car cut in front of you requiring, you to stop that is a basis of an appeal because you were not stopped because of the presence of stationary vehicles.
5. If the local authority has a facility to watch the video of the alleged contravention, then do take the opportunity to check and look at the video. See below for points where you can appeal.
6. When you view the incident online do make sure that you download a copy of the video to your computer tablet or phone.
7. If the local authority does not have an online facility to view the video telephone them and asked for a copy digital copy to be sent to you or e-mailed to you. Wait no more than 7 days for this digital copy and it still hasn't arrived make sure you lodge your appeal.
8. Read the penalty charge notice carefully and make sure you are clear which local authority issued it. You will be surpised at the number of people who send appeals to the wrong local authority!!
9. Make sure that you follow the appeal procedure shown on the penalty charge notice. Some local authorities allow online appeals, appeals by fax, appeals by e-mail and by post. Sometimes they allow all 4 methods
10. If you decide to appeal it's very important that your appeal is lodged in within the time shown on the penalty charge notice.
11. When appealing do make sure that you write a full and explanation of why you think the yellow box ticket is incorrect and be courteous and professional.
12. Remember you can only stop in a yellow box if when you want to turn right, and are only stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic, or by other vehicles waiting to turn right.
13. Include copies of any evidence - if online appeals are allowed you can normally upload the evidence.
14. If appealing by post NEVER SEND ORIGINALS OF EVIDENCE!! Always keep a copy of your appeal and the evidence sent.
15. It will not help your case by calling the camera operator an idiot!.
16. Once the Council respond to your appeal they will either accept your appeal or refuse it. Once there is a refusal you need to decide whether you are going to carry on with the appeal ultimately to the parking adjudicator or to pay the appeal the penalty charge notice.
17. Often when councils turn down your appeal they will re-offer the discounted payment if you pay within a specific time limit. If you do not intend to continue with the appeal then do make sure you make the payment of the discounted amount within the time limit.
18. If you do intend to appeal to the parking adjudicator once again do make sure that the appeal to the adjudicator is received within the statutory time limit.
If You Decide Not To Appeal
19. If you do not intend to appeal, then the penalty charge notice will state that if you pay within a specified period you will be entitled to a discounted figure of 50% of the total fine. Do make sure that if you are going to pay this discounted amount that it is received by the council within the stated time limit. If you pay after the time period given the council will look to you for payment of the whole amount.
20. The CCTV should be. The contravention should have been viewed and captured in real time rather than a member of the CCTV team going through the recordings and then issuing the ticket.
How To Avoid Getting A Yellow Box Ticket In The First Place.
21. The substance of the law is that no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of stationary vehicles.
22. Therefore When approaching a yellow box junction before entering do make sure that there is a space on the other side of the yellow box junction for your vehicle to enter. You MUST NOT enter the box until your exit road or lane is clear. However, you may enter the box and wait when you want to turn right, and are only stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic, or by other vehicles waiting to turn right.
23. At signalled roundabouts you MUST NOT enter the box unless you can cross over it completely without stopping."
24. Do be particularly careful where a road of say three lanes emerges on the other side of the box junction to 2.
25. The contravention is that you stopped in the yellow box because of the presence of stationary vehicles