Box Junction Rules Explained

Box junctions are likely to be part of the driving test if there is one within reasonable distance of the driving test centre where you are taking your practical test.

Understanding correctly how to use a yellow box junction and it’s rules is important as they are designed to keep traffic flowing. Blocking a box junction can result in a penalty as certain junctions use detection cameras for such purposes, and of course, inappropriate use of a yellow box junction will fail a driving test.

This tutorial will guide you for stopping at a box junction, turning right at a box junction and gain an understanding of yellow box junction rules.

The Purpose of Yellow Box Junctions

The reason why certain junctions have a yellow criss-cross box is to allow for unhindered traffic flow. Yellow box junctions are often located in busy areas.

Turning right at a box junction

Box junctions are often in place at busy areas where traffic flow is crucial. A yellow box with crisscross lines in the junction indicates a yellow box junction. this tutorial is following the red car turning right on the yellow box.

If your driving test involves the use of box junctions, you will need to approach them exactly the same as any other junction by using the MSPSL routine, in this case, for Turning right at a junction.

Box junction rules

A question frequently asked is ‘can you stop in a box junction?’. The answer is yes, but a yellow box junction must not be entered unless your exit road is clear. If you do stop in a yellow box junction and your exit is not clear, you are committing a road traffic offence as you will prevent other vehicles from making progress and bring the entire junction to a standstill.

If entering a box junction during your driving test when the exit is not clear, this will be an instant test failure. Other than failing the test and making other motorists angry, it is also illegal.

How to Use a Box junction

The red car in the centre of the diagram is turning right at this crossroads junction. The red car is stationary waiting in the yellow area on the box junction as it is waiting for oncoming traffic (the yellow car) to pass.

The cars exit road on the right is perfectly clear. When the oncoming traffic has either passed the crossing, or stopped moving due to the traffic lights changing to red, the red car can proceed to clear the crossroads without blocking the junction and impeding the progress of others. It’s important that you are sure the exit you intend on taking is clear before proceeding into the yellow box area – not just if you’re turning right. Ensure you clear the yellow box even if your traffic lights have changed to red.

Correct procedure for turning right at a box junction

 

How Not to Use a Box junction

A similar diagram again with the red car in the centre waiting to turn right. On this occasion the red car has entered the yellow box junction area, but this time the red cars exit is not clear.

If the cars exit does not clear in time, he will be blocking the junction and the progress of motorists. This situation also applies to vehicles traveling straight instead of turning right; the box junction must remain clear.

Incorrect procedure for turning right at a box junction

stopping rules at Box junctions

Ideally the red car should have stopped behind the first line of the cycle waiting area, even if the traffic lights are green. If a vehicle has passed the first line and has entered the cycle area, the vehicle must stop at the second line and not enter the box junction. This is still likely to fail a driving test although in terms of general driving, far more acceptable than remaining in the yellow box.

Box junction laws and fines

You are permitted to enter a box junction, stop and wait for oncoming traffic to pass, provided your exit road is clear. It is against the law to enter the box junction if your exit is not clear as you will be blocking the junction for other road users. Many box junctions around the country, especially in busy city areas have cameras fitted to take evidence of the incorrect use of box junctions.

If you are caught, you will receive a fixed penalty fine in the region of £100, although this depends where you are. Local councils will often reduce the fine if you pay quickly or by the date provided.

Other types of Junctions and Tutorials

2 thoughts on “Box Junction Rules Explained”

  1. Francesca

    Hi,

    I don’t understand what you mean here:

    STOPPING RULES AT BOX JUNCTIONS
    Ideally the red car should have stopped behind the first line of the cycle waiting area, even if the traffic lights are green. If a vehicle has passed the first line and has entered the cycle area, the vehicle must stop at the second line and not enter the box junction. This is still likely to fail a driving test although in terms of general driving, far more acceptable than remaining in the yellow box.

    Please could you explain why this would be ideal and why you would still fail (is it because of stopping in a cycle area)?
    In a test is the best course of action to wait behind the cycle box until your exit is clear and there is a gap in traffic flow on the opposite side? What if it is busy, should you then enter the box if your exit is clear but you cannot see a gap to turn right?

    Thanks

  2. Hi Francesca,
    Yes, you should always avoid stopping ahead of advanced stop lines (in the cycle area). The most important thing to avoid here is stopping within the yellow box if your exit isn’t clear. If you do that, there’s a good chance you’ll bring the entire junction to a halt. Ideally try and gauge the situation from behind the advanced stop line. It’s perfectly fine to enter the yellow box as long as your exit is clear (this applies to any direction not just turning right). You may have to sit there and wait for a bit, but once the lights change for the moving traffic, that’s your chance to make a move.

    Some junctions are quite complicated with cycle lanes, advanced stop lines, yellow boxes – pretty much everything. It’s best to practice these junctions as much as possible before your test.

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