Drivers are being warned to expect an “avalanche” of fines as councils across England will soon be able to enforce moving vehicle fines, including at yellow box junctions where there are concerns that design flaws force people to use them wrongly.
Local authorities, mostly for the first time, will soon be issuing tickets for moving vehicle offences, including illegal turns and driving the wrong way down a one-way street.
For international drivers, it might be advisable to take extra care when driving on the UK side of the road and to be aware of the new measures in place.
It does not mean more parking rules but it does mean more authorities will be able to issue fines and it could mean more junctions are policed by cameras than previously.
The Royal Automobile Club (RAC) fears many motorists will be punished unfairly and warns flaws in traffic systems may contribute to a driver breaking a law.
Yellow box junctions are among the new road rules that local councils are being allowed to police but where the RAC believes there may be wider problems.
The RAC is concerned that many have “design flaws” such as being too large or having buildings or street furniture obstructing the view of where they end, causing drivers to be trapped through no fault of their own. The situation can be compounded by faded lines which are difficult to see
They are meant to ensure traffic flows smoothly through busy junctions and motorists should only enter them when their exit is clear or they are waiting to turn right.
Until this change, the only local authorities with the power to enforce moving traffic offences in England and Wales are Transport for London (TfL), the London boroughs and Cardiff Council, in Wales.
An investigation by the RAC in 2020 found that London and Cardiff raked in £31.4 million in the 2018/19 financial year after issuing more than half a million penalty charge notices for yellow box infringements.
RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “In the absence of definitive guidance on the design, maintenance and enforcement of box junctions, there will be a high degree of confusion among drivers and local authorities, which could lead to an avalanche of penalty charge notices being wrongly issued and then having to be appealed.
“This will inevitably lead to an unnecessarily high number of appeals for local authorities to review, as well as some poor outcomes for drivers.”
The Department for Transport will soon begin accepting applications from councils to issue fines for moving traffic offences as part of efforts to promote cycling and walking.
Successful applicants will be able to issue penalty charge notices for these offences from June 1.