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How to use box junctions
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Box Junctions

Box junction rules explained Box junctions are one of those things that can fill even experienced drivers with dread. Listen, we can’t promise this article will make your next experience with a box junction feel like a walk in the park. But…

Simon Jones
by Simon Jones

Box junction rules explained

Box junctions are one of those things that can fill even experienced drivers with dread. Listen, we can’t promise this article will make your next experience with a box junction feel like a walk in the park. But we can take you through all the box junction rules to help you avoid getting slapped with a fine.

What is a box junction?

A box junction is an area in the centre of a junction, usually at a busy crossroads or T-junction, where the road is marked with a yellow criss-crossed box. They are there as traffic control measures, to prevent gridlock at junctions. Box junctions are often also controlled by traffic lights, but this won’t always be the case so keep your eyes on the road markings and make sure you’re up to scratch on your box junction rules.

What are the rules for a box junction?

 

wrong box junction

1. Do not enter a box junction unless the exit road is clear
2. Only stop in the box if you’re turning right and waiting for a gap in traffic
3. If the traffic lights go red before you turn, you’re still allowed to make the turn
4. Blocking a box junction is illegal and could land you with a fine

When may you enter a box junction?

You should not enter a box junction unless the exit road is clear. Even if the traffic lights are green, you should wait until you can be sure there’s a clear path to get to the exit you want to go down.

You can join a stationary line of traffic on the other side of the junction, but make sure there’s room for your car on the other side before going ahead. This isn’t something you want to misjudge, so it’s best to be cautious! Plus, it goes without saying that you shouldn’t enter if the traffic lights are on red.

How to approach a box junction

 
1. Slow down as you approach
2. Use the mirror signal manoeuvre routine in plenty of time
3. Check that the exit you want to go down is clear
4. Do not enter unless there’s room for your car on the other side, even if the traffic light is green
5. If you’re turning right, position yourself in the middle of the box and don’t turn until the path of traffic is clear

When may you wait in a box junction?

If you’re going straight or turning left, you shouldn’t stop and wait in a box junction. The only time you should wait in a box junction is if you’re turning right and your path is blocked by oncoming traffic.
 
If you’re turning right, slowly drive into the yellow box to the place where you’re going to turn from. Make sure you don’t get in the way of traffic coming the other way. From there, you can turn or wait until there is a clear path for you to turn right.

What to do if you’ve entered a box junction and the light turns red?

If you’re waiting to turn right in a box junction and the traffic light turns red, you’re still allowed to make your turn. There will be a pause in the time between your light turning red and the opposite traffic light turning green. This is a great opportunity to safely make your turn without blocking the road or getting in the way of other drivers.

If you’re trying to turn left or drive straight on and get stuck in a box junction with the lights on red, you’re blocking the junction. Not only will this be frustrating for other drivers, but it’s actually illegal. What’s the penalty for stopping in a yellow box junction?
 
If you’re caught stopping in a yellow box junction you could be charged with obstructing traffic. This could land you with a fine of up to £70, or even £130 in London. If you pay the fine within 14 days, this number could be reduced by 50%. The same rule usually applies with parking tickets, check out our article on parking restrictions for more information.

Do all box junctions have cameras?

Not all box junctions have cameras installed. At the moment, only councils in the capitals of Cardiff and London can issue fines for moving traffic offenses like box junctions. So cameras are mostly only found in these areas. If you’re anywhere else in England or Wales, you’ll only be fined if you’re caught by a police officer.
 
However, that’s all changing at the end of this year, and you’ll need to be even more cautious to avoid the dreaded box junction fine. In 2022, all councils in England and Wales will be able to issue fines for moving traffic offenses. This means we’re likely to see more Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras at box junctions across the UK.

Make sure you’re insured

If you’re heading out into the big city, make sure you’re insured. Our temporary car insurance is perfect for borrowing a friend’s car or sharing the drive. You could get cover from 1 hour up to 60 days and be on the road in minutes.
Simon Jones
Simon Jones

Brand manager at Veygo. I've been driving for 17 years and I used to enjoy driving home from work listening to 90s music.

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