Councils will soon be able to hand out fines of up to £70 for minor traffic infractions, such as stopping in yellow box junctions, driving in cycle lanes and illegal turns
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Councils across England and Wales are being handed new powers to fine drivers for traffic offences.
Local authorities will be able to fine motorists up to £70 for minor infractions such as stopping at yellow box junctions.
Penalties will also be dished out for illegal turns and driving in cycle lanes.
Currently the offenses are only enforced by the police and local authorities in London and Cardiff.
New laws coming into force on May 31 will extend these powers to local authorities across the country, Berkshire Live reports.
However, the RAC warned of an “avalanche” of PCNs dished out to drivers “trapped” in yellow boxes.
MyLondon / Darren Pepe)
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Nicholas Lyes, head of roads policy for the RAC, 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.
“(It) 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.
“We are worried that failing to update guidance to include the lessons learned from more than 15 years of enforcement in London will lead to countless wrong fines being issued, no end of unnecessary stress for drivers who feel they have been unfairly treated and thousands of wasted council hours investigating appeals.
“It’s absolutely crucial that yellow box junctions are enforced fairly and, as things stand, this may not be the case which will mean many drivers will be treated poorly and lose out financially as a result.”
Local authorities will from June 1 be able to apply to take on issuing Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) for offenses such as going through banned left and right turns, U-turns, no-vehicle entry points, stopping in yellow boxes at junctions and bus lanes.
Drivers caught by CCTV cameras and CCTV vehicles will be sent a PCN in the post – similar to how bus lane cameras currently operate.
The move is aimed at helping councils make roads safer and improve traffic flow, while freeing police time to focus on other policing priorities.
Under the rules of the Highway Code, you cannot enter a yellow box unless your exit is clear and there is enough room on the other side of the junction for your car to clear the box completely without stopping.
The only exception is if you want to turn right and upon entering the box you are prevented from turning by oncoming traffic.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.