The latest weapon used by municipalities to brighten up motorists will be rolled out nationwide later this year. If you commit an offense, you will be fined up to £ 130.
Welcome to the yellow box of the intersection now referred to by critics as a ‘piggy bank’.
Drivers who temporarily stop their car at the intersection of one of these boxes run the risk of being filmed by a camera and automatically fined for committing a ‘traffic violation’.
Caught on camera: CCTV catches car stranded on yellow box in Cardiff
Already used at major junctions and T-junctions in London and Cardiff, the Department for Transport has given the green light to all local authorities to jump on board this lucrative cash cow.
In London and Cardiff, city councils invested £ 60m in such traffic offenses last year.
The intersections are a sneaky trap for motorists.
According to the RAC motorists’ association, eight out of ten drivers have trouble driving smoothly through these boxes – while a third say they got stuck in a box because the vehicle in front could not get out quickly.
Hugh Blazon, founder of the Alliance of British Drivers campaign group, says: “It is crazy to hand over power to local councils to issue penalties for being trapped in a yellow box.
Local authorities seem incapable of understanding motorists’ needs and will simply use it as an excuse to take more money from an easy target. ‘
The RAC says the changes will be implemented nationally within the next 12 months.
Nicholas Lyes, head of road policy, says: “Most drivers think local authorities are rushing to install cameras to generate additional income. Four out of ten drivers we spoke to fear road layouts and signage will be deliberately confused to increase the number of fines imposed.
“Local authorities should consider sending a warning letter to first offenders – and not impose a fine until they repeat the violation later.”
The only sure way to avoid a fine is not to put it in a box. To confuse things, however, you may be able to wait in an intersection if you turn right – and not be able to make the turn until oncoming traffic is clear – as this is not considered a driving violation. Details are covered in Highway Code rule 174.
Barrie Segal, who runs the authorization advice website AppealNow, says, “Yellow box intersections can be hugely confusing – and if someone breaks you down or the road markings aren’t clear, you could be stabbed with a fine that is wrong and unfair.”
He adds: “In fact, congregations often issue fines for violations if they do not understand the law. All they are really interested in is taking your money.
If someone cuts through a free space and leaves you in the box – it could even be a fire truck or ambulance – you should consider fighting to have the sentence reversed.
And if you can’t see the marks because they have been rubbed out – or even if they appear to be in the wrong place – you may also have grounds for an appeal. ‘
Fortunately, if you’re right, the odds should be in your favor. According to research from comparison website Confused, two in five motorists appeal against fines.
And about three quarters of them succeed in throwing away the penalty – or lowering the fine.
But Segal adds, “ There are, of course, cases where you have to pay – and with yellow box nodes, you may not be aware of the rules until it’s too late. Before you appeal, you need to understand the law. ‘
Unfortunately, many drivers do not know that they have been put in a box until it is too late. But this cannot be used as an excuse to fight a fine.
The only reason why you should enter a box is if there is enough space for your car on the other side of the box as well. If there is no space after the yellow box, you may not move.
While you could be fined £ 130 for stopping in a yellow box, you will not be penalized on a driver’s license as this is considered a minor offense.
Figures collected by the RAC after a request for freedom of information showed that nearly half a million fines had been imposed on the yellow box in London last year, giving local authorities more than £ 30 million. In addition, there were more than 400,000 fines for ‘no turn’ or ‘no entry’ errors.
In Cardiff, there were 24,000 fines for box junctions that raised more than £ 800,000 the previous year – three fold. There were also nearly 50,000 fines for ‘not turning off’ or ‘not entering’.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transportation said: “Part of tackling congestion is to make sure all road users obey the rules and give local authorities the powers they need to keep traffic moving. We are committed to ensuring that these powers are used fairly and proportionately. ‘
SIX OTHER SNEAKY TRICKS THAT CUT MOTORISTS
Enter a so-called ‘ultra-low emission zone’ in central London and you could be fined £ 160 (£ 80 if paid in 14 days) if your car exceeds the emission limits introduced last year – and you don’t get a £ 12 daily, 50 costs that allow such cars in this area.
To avoid the tax, petrol cars have to pass a ‘Euro 4’ emissions test and diesel cars a ‘Euro 6’ standard. These measure the level of pollutants such as nitrogen oxide that your car is emitting. See if your car passes the gas guzzling test on the Vehicle Certification Agency website. Spy cameras automatically search for a vehicle by reading the license plate to see if the car is liable.
You no longer have to stop and drop off your money at a toll bridge – do it online or by phone. Unfortunately, this makes it easier to forget to pay and be fined.
For the Dartford Crossing (bridge or tunnel) in Essex it is £ 2.50 one way or £ 5 return. Forget and you face a fine of £ 70 – reduced to £ 35 if you pay within 14 days. Cameras read your car’s license plate.
Espionage cameras introduced by municipalities for yellow box intersections will also be used to catch drivers going the wrong way on a one-way street or turning in a direction that a sign says they cannot take – including possibly a U-turn.
Drivers can be fined £ 130 which is cut in half to £ 65 if paid within 14 days.
If you enter a bus lane – even to avoid an accident – you may be fined. These can go up to £ 160 – reduced to £ 80 if paid within 14 days. Espionage cameras are not only placed on street corners, but also on the back of buses.
A charge for driving in central London was increased to £ 15 per day in June, with hours extended to weekends. Failure to pay could result in a fine of £ 160 which will be reduced to £ 80 if paid within 14 days. There is a congestion charge in Durham of £ 2 per day, and if you don’t pay you will be fined £ 50.
Low speed limit
This year, a 20 mph speed limit was introduced in central London, following a similar scheme in Bristol. Exceeding the limit can result in a fine of £ 100 and three points on your driver’s license.
The nationwide introduction of revenue-generating yellow boxes is the latest financial assault on motorists.
In March, 20 mph speed limits were put in place in central London by Mayor Sadiq Khan under a similar plan in Bristol. Exceeding this limit can result in a fine of £ 100 and three points on the driver’s license.
In June, the congestion charge for entering central London during the day was raised from £ 11.50 to £ 15. The charge already raised about £ 160 million a year for Transport for London.
There are also fears that Chancellor Rishi Sunak will increase the fuel tax on a liter of gasoline by 5 cents in the autumn budget.
Drivers already pay a high fuel tax equivalent to 64.55 percent of the gas price and 60.8 percent for diesel – so 71 pence of the £ 1.10 liter paid for gas goes to the tax authorities.
As far as municipalities with a tight budget are concerned, the yellow boxes cannot come quickly enough.
It will help them increase the £ 454 million they pocketed from parking fines last year.
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