Poor traffic light sequencing blamed by many of those taking part in the survey


According to new research by the RAC, 80% of drivers in the UK struggle to stop in yellow box junctions, whilst 46% admit that they’ve even stopped in a yellow box junction and ended up blocking the road.

A majority of those taking part in the survey blamed poor traffic-light sequencing.

From the drivers who confessed to breaking the law surrounding yellow box junctions, 78% said poor sequencing of traffic lights was to blame, whilst 32% said it was other road users who led them to breaking the rules as well.

One in five believe the box junctions have been badly designed, whilst 15% think they’re quite often used in the wrong locations.

8 out of 10 drivers in the UK struggle to stop in yellow box junctions

A yellow box junction – used incorrectly every day by UK drivers. © Copyright Derek Harper and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

At present, only London and Cardiff councils have the power to hand out PCNs for minor road traffic offences, whilst it’s down to the police everywhere else.

Concern is growing however with experts, as police officer numbers continue to fall and catching law breakers is now becoming much harder, resulting in low numbers of penalties being issued for box junction misuse across the country.

A total of 2,000 drivers took part in the survey, with more than a third (36%) saying that all councils should be given the power to issue penalties for box junction offences, whilst the same number of people thought these powers should only be used at problematic junctions.

In London, the penalty for stopping in a box junction is £130 which is halved if the offender pays early. Data obtained by the RAC shows that Transport for London (TfL) issued 123,071 box junction PCNs during the last financial year, an increase of 108,164 compared to the previous year.

“There is a strong feeling that many junctions are not set up fairly, which leads to drivers having no choice but to stop in them, whether that’s due to poor traffic light sequencing, poor design or being used in the wrong place,” said RAC spokesman Simon Williams.

According to Mr Williams, box junctions can “heighten stress for drivers as those at the front of traffic lights often feel pressured to move on as a result of impatient drivers behind”, adding that whilst the RAC is “generally supportive of local authorities having the power to enforce yellow box junctions”, he was concerned and worried that if all councils were granted this power, “cash-strapped authorities may see it as a lucrative revenue stream”, so to prevent this from happening, drivers should be issued with a warning letter if it’s their first offence.


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