Question Topic: Rules of the road
Yellow boxes are marked on the road to help prevent roads and junctions becoming blocked. They help to prevent traffic jams by ensuring there is a through way for traffic. As such, when you see a yellow box you should not enter unless one of 2 criteria are met:
- Your Exit is Clear and…
You may enter a yellow box only if your exit is clear and there is enough room for your entire vehicle to clear the box without having to stop first.
- You are turning right and…
You may also enter a yellow box and even stop in it if you are turning right and are prevented from turning by oncoming traffic OR by other vehicles in front of you waiting to turn.
Where do you find yellow boxes?
Yellow boxes are marked in criss-cross yellow lines that have been painted on the road. They can be found at junctions where two or more roads meet, on larger roundabouts, and outside of ambulance and fire stations. However big the box is, the criteria for entry remain the same.
Theory Test Question
Have you answered the theory test question: On which occasion may you enter a box junction? Let’s check your answer and see which is the right response:
When there are fewer than two vehicles ahead
Wrong! Yellow boxes can vary in size and are designed to prevent the road from becoming blocked. You should assess the situation to check you can clear the box before entering.
When traffic signs direct you
Wrong! The box itself is an indication that you need to avoid stopping in it. You may only enter if turning right or the way ahead is clear enough for your vehicle to clear the box completely.
When your exit road is clear
Correct! You should only enter a yellow box if there is space on the other side for your vehicle to completely clear the box without having to stop. You may also enter a yellow box and stop if you are turning right and prevented from doing so by either oncoming traffic or other vehicles waiting to turn right.
When signalled by another road user
Wrong! You should not make your decisions based on pressure from other road users. Assess the situation yourself and check if the conditions meet the criteria to enter a yellow box.
In section 6 of the official DVSA guide to driving, it states:
Yellow crisscross lines mark a box junction. Their purpose is to keep the junction clear by preventing traffic from stopping in the path of crossing traffic. You MUST NOT enter a box junction unless your exit road is clear. But you can enter the box when you want to turn right and you’re only prevented from doing so by oncoming traffic.
If there’s a vehicle already on the junction waiting to turn right, you’re free to enter behind it and wait to turn right – providing that you won’t block any oncoming traffic wanting to turn right. If there are several vehicles waiting to turn, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to proceed before the traffic signals change.
Rule 174 of the Highway Code:
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.