Councils across the UK to be given new powers to fine drivers – raking in millions

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Motorists could soon be fined for committing moving traffic violations, which are currently dealt with by the police. Transport Secretary Grant Schapps said he was ready to grant councils the right to dish out bills for the infringements, which are expected to hit drivers unsure on the changes. Motorists could be fined for temporarily stopping in yellow box junctions, even in heavy traffic. Speaking to the Transport Committee, Mr Shapps said: “I have been looking at powers outside of London provided to local areas to do some of the things, and think that… I’ll shortly be making an announcement.”

London is one city where councils manage minor road offences already and hit motorists with fines for stopping in their yellow box junctions.

However, Transport for London controversially targets the owners rather than the driver as liable to pay a fine.

It means owners can be sent bills for committing an offence they didn’t do if someone else was driving the car at the time.

Across London, motorists can be charged a £130 fine for breaking the law and entering the tricky box junctions.

Fines can be reduced to £65 if they are paid within 14 of the notice being issued.

According to the RAC, one yellow box junction in Croydon gathers more than £62,000 in fines each year.

They say another junction in Fulham earned a local council a massive £2.4million in bills across 18 months.

The potential new implementation of council rights comes after the Commons Transport Committee warned police cannot enforce traffic offences as they are too busy dealing with more serious crime.

If the proposals were accepted councils could set up more cameras at box junctions to catch motorists.

Proceeds generated from the fines will be spent on tackling congestion and improving bus services around the country.

Yellow box junctions are control measures designed to stop congestion at busy junctions.

Drivers are not allowed to enter the box unless their exit is clear and there is enough space on the other side of the junction  to clear the area without needing to stop.

RAC spokesperson, Simon Williams says box junctions are a divisive issue and implementation of the policy would likely lead to a rise in notices handed out for these offences.

In a statement, he added: “Many junctions are not set up fairly which leads to drivers having no choice but stopping them, whether due to poor traffic light sequencing, poor design or being used in the wrong place.

“[Drivers] at the front of traffic lights often fee; pressured to move on as a result of impatient drivers behind who don’t realise they are being prevented from doing so by the presence of yellow lines.”

The group advises drivers to check the exit is clear before setting off to avoid the stringent fines.

They also say drivers should not feel pressured into entering a box junction when they can see an exit is not available. 

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