The automotive services company RAC has said many drivers risk being fined unfairly over the use of yellow box junctions in the near future.

This is because 27 councils have put forward proposals to enforce 111 boxes under legislation introduced by the Government in May 2022.

Successful applicants will be able to issue penalty charge notices (PCNs) to offending drivers.

On Transport for London’s (TfL) red routes, PCNs are £160, reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.

However, the RAC said there are issues with 90% of the boxes which are “likely to lead to drivers being fined unfairly”.

The Argus: The RAC has said there are issues with quite a few of the yellow box junctions planned for enforcement actionThe RAC has said there are issues with quite a few of the yellow box junctions planned for enforcement action (Image: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire)

What are yellow box junctions?

Yellow boxes are used in an attempt to ensure traffic flows smoothly through busy junctions, and drivers should not use them unless their exit is clear or they are turning right.

The RAC said to avoid inadvertently breaking the rules, drivers must be able to clearly see boxes and where they end.

Concerning the 111 boxes analysed, 40 were found to pose visibility difficulties such as faded road markings, while 18 extend beyond junctions.

Chartered engineer Sam Wright was the one commissioned by the RAC to analyse the boxes and was formerly responsible for the design and approval of yellow boxes on TfL’s road network.

He said: “I haven’t seen a single proposal that reviews the visibility of the box from a driver’s point of view.

“If you also factor in bad weather, poor light and other vehicles, then the poor visibility situation is exacerbated."

He added that it seemed like the Government had "simply assumed" the existing boxes were already suitable for enforcement without carrying out a "fresh assessment".

Meanwhile, RAC roads spokesman Simon Williams urged the Government to carry out a review of this proposal.

He said: “Fining people can have real financial consequences for those on the receiving end.

“Enforcing yellow boxes means that the driver of a vehicle overhanging a box by any amount for just a moment can get a ticket.

“Yet many drivers end up stopped or trapped in these junctions through no fault of their own."