Yellow Box Junction, What The Law Say's
The introduction to the Highway Code states:
Many of the rules in the Code are legal requirements, and if you disobey these rules you are committing a criminal offence. You may be fined, given penalty points on your licence or be disqualified from driving. In the most serious cases you may be sent to prison. Such rules are identified by the use of the words ‘MUST/MUST NOT’.
Rule 174 has the words MUST NOT and is therefore a legal requirement.
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.
Many people forget the law about box junctions and enter into box junctions without checking to see if they can enter and exit without stopping behind a staionary vehicle at all within the yellow box. If the traffic is moving slowly and you see red brake lights, beware, you could find yourself coming to a stop within the yellow box junction and thereby commiting an offence.
You have auotomatically commited an offence if
1) The exit was not clear when you entered the yellow box junction
2) You entered the yellow box junction and stopped behind a stationary vehicle
3) Part of your vehicle is inside the yellow box junction and your vehicle is stationary
The relevant part of the legislation that covers box junction is reproduced below
The Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002
Road markings shown in diagrams 1025.1, 1025.3, 1025.4, 1043 and 1044: bus stop and bus stand clearways and box junctions
(2) The road markings shown in diagrams 1043 and 1044 shall convey the prohibition specified in Part II of Schedule 19.
BUS STOP AND BUS STAND CLEARWAYS AND BOX JUNCTIONS
SIGNIFICANCE OF BOX JUNCTION MARKINGS
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