Yellow box junction rules

Last updated May 05, 2021

Like loading bays and red routes, yellow box junctions control traffic flow by eliminating traffic jams and maintaining a clear junction for through-traffic. They also keep segments of road space free to ensure emergency vehicles always have a clear exit from fire stations, police stations and hospitals.

This guide defines and explains the rules for using yellow box junctions safely.

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What is a yellow box junction?

Indicated by criss-crossed yellow lines on the road, yellow box junctions are found at the junction of two or more roads and occasionally at roundabouts or outside emergency service stations. Yellow box junctions do not require any additional signage.

How to use a yellow box junction

You can enter a yellow box junction when your exit is clear and there’s enough space on the other side of the junction for your vehicle to clear the box without stopping. There are two legal reasons for stopping in a yellow box junction:

  • When turning right, if you’re prevented from turning by oncoming traffic
  • Stopping for other motorists who want to turn right

Turning right in a yellow box junction

You’re allowed to stop in a yellow box is when you are turning right. You must still make sure your exit road is clear, but you may have to wait for a gap in oncoming traffic before making the turn. If such cases, you’re allowed to stay in the box until it’s safe to turn right. Follow our simple guidelines below to make a safe right turn:

  • Drive slowly into the middle of the box until the point at which you need to start your right turn. Avoid straying into the path of oncoming traffic, as they will expect you to remain stationary in your lane.
  • When a safe gap in the oncoming traffic appears, you can turn right and exit the yellow box. If it’s busy and the junction has filter traffic lights, you may have to wait for the right arrow to light up before you can safely make your turn.
  • Don’t simply follow the vehicle in front of you, as it may stop at any moment and prevent your exit.
  • Don’t let other drivers pressure you to enter the box junction if there’s no clear exit available.

Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs)

Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) are designed to deter drivers from breaking the Highway Code and causing traffic jams. If you flout yellow box junction rules you could be issued a PCN, so stay safe and compliant by following our yellow box junction guidance.

Will I get fined if I get stuck in a box junction?

You can be fined if you get stuck in a yellow box junction by not following the rules. There are often cameras installed at busy junctions which catch drivers who stop inappropriately within the yellow hatching. The fine will depend on how quickly you pay and where in the country you’re caught. In London, fixed penalty notices (FPNs) of up to £130 are standard, whereas you’ll pay a maximum of £70 outside the capital.

It’s also worth noting that if you fail to pay a PCN or FPN within 28 days, you’ll receive a charge certificate which adds 50% to your original fine.