stuck behind someone on a yellow box...

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joko | 18:24 Tue 15th Nov 2011 | Motoring
34 Answers
very odd thing happened to me today...
i was driving on a main road, dual carriageway, and traffic was moving slowly, i passed through some traffic lights on green but because of the traffic didnt get far...
i waited a while for the car in front to move...until after a few minutes i realised there was nothing in front of this car (it was getting dark so i didnt notice straight away)
I wondered why they had stopped and tried to look around and couldnt see ahead.

eventually i realised that this person had stopped at the second line, at the second red light...!

you know how at traffic lights there is another light ahead on the other side that matches the one you are stopped beside... well she had stopped on the other side of that - in the middle of the crossing!
the only reason it was no problem was because it was not a crossroads, but a main road with one side road...and no-one was waiting to turn...

eventually i got a bit exasperated, but figured maybe there was something in her path that i couldnt see, or maybe she was ill or something, so moved out from behind her into the right hand lane to look around -
she seemed fine and was just staring at the red light on her right - (probably a new driver)
I was confused and even began to doubt myself for a second but on checking that i was right i decided to go round her...
but i couldnt because at the moment a van was crossing my path as it was moving out into the traffic going the opposite way and stopped...

so i was stuck in the yellow hatched box because of this girl.

after a minute or so the lights changed and we all just went on..

ive never heard of anyone doing this before.. i suspect it was because of the slow traffic and she just saw the red line and stopped

my question she in trouble?

and also, am i? Even though it was not my fault...?

i would fight this because of the the circumstances, but has any law actually been broken and would we have been photographed in any way...?

i know you should not enter the box until your way is clear...but the traffic was slow moving at the time, not stopped, and normally would have just continued what else could i have done...?



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"so i was stuck in the yellow hatched box because of this girl."

Errrm, no, you were stuck in a yellow hatched box because you entered it when it wasn't clear for you to exit it.

If you hear anything about it and try and contest it you will be found guilty, you shouldn't have passed the first light into the hatched area until you could see it was clear for you to leave the other side.
i doubt much will be made of it, unless alot of trouble was caused! i find the yellow box rules are rarely kept!
Unless there were any enforcement cameras able to see you I doubt very much you will get in trouble.
I agree with the others BTW, you're highly unlikely to hear any more about it.
Question Author
I realise 'technically' we should not have been in the box...but traffic was moving free when i entered it, not stopped, as the lights were on green...

but it SHOULD have and WOULD have been clear had this girl not stopped when she shouldn't have ... i didnt know she was going to randomly just stop for no reason... the traffic should have just continued through... its was moving steadily but slow-ish (not crawling) was not a jam, just busy

surely we do not have to stop briefly before every yellow box just to make sure the car in front doesnt pointlessly stop...
Question Author
had the road ahead been blocked and traffic stopped...i would not have entered it
-- answer removed --
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."

Regardless of the fact the other driver was acting strangely, technically yes you should pause before entering the hatched area to make sure you are clear to exit it.

of course nobody does this in practice (including me) but if you were to be caught stationary in the hatched area due to somebody else randomly stopping you would be at fault.
chuck, would that mean that the trafic has to wait until the car in front has crossed and exited a junction before moving themselves? then when theyve safely crossed the car next in line can move?
But I thought she was already stationary before you decided to move onto the yellow box.

Yes, you should wait until the car in front of you clears the yellow box before you cross it so that you know you will have space to clear it yourself.
Question Author
thats what i mean rdcrx... traffic would be horrendous if everyone did that...

chuck, yes i know that 'technically' i was in the wrong place.

I was not at the lights and then moved off while she was parked there... i was in moving traffic and so was she...

ive never heard of anyone thinking they have to stop at that light before...
Didn't AP say he got done for having his front wheels in the box?
You still should have waited until she moved though.

You can normally judge by the traffic ahead how far accross you are going to get and if you will clear the box but if the car in front hasn't even started moving then neither should you. I agree she should have moved if the traffic ahead of her was but you still should not have entered the box without knowing you could pass it.
Technically, yes.

You shouldn't enter the hatched area until the previous car has cleared it by enough to give you room to clear the hatching too.

In reality nobody does this and if everyone did it would probably cause chaos... Personally I will try and make a judgement about the car in front and if I think it will be able to clear the junction sufficiently I'll follow them straight in, but if I either misjudge it, or get caught out by the car in front randomly stopping (or breaking down, which has happened to me) I would be in the wrong for entering the junction in the first place.

I'd hope that if a police officer saw it happening they'd use discretion, but cameras don't have any discretion.
Is AP talking about the same sort of thing here?

"You shouldn't enter the hatched area until the previous car has cleared it by enough to give you room to clear the hatching too. "

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.
this is common enough, really. You're moving across an intersection, there isn't a car's-length space on the far side but you can see traffic is moving smoothly, so you drive ahead, and then someone stops for no reason. They haven't committed any offence because they've stopped; you've committed one by driving normally.

But there it is - life's unfair sometimes. The good news is, as people have said, you're unlikely ever to get any comeback on it. When it's happened to me, I've just done my best to wiggle either forward or back to give cross traffic as much as room as possible.
"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."

Yes, I'm aware of this, but it's not relevant in this instance.
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evianbaby...please read the posts again... you have misunderstood what happened...

yes chuck...its an odd one... but as i say i did judge it ... ans i saw no reason ahead that traffic should have come to a standstill at all - and had she not misunderstood the road rules and for some bizarre reason believed that that second red light was the main one she would have carried on as normal...
I probably have misunderstood what happened, I did find it a bit difficult to understand, however my answers doesn't change. You should not move into a yellow box if you can not clear it. I do a lot of driving in London and there it's more than your lifes worth to make that mistake.

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