Yellow box offenses costing motorists

Thousands of motorists could be forced into paying fines for traffic offences they didn’t commit because of a clause being enforced by Transport for London (TfL) for cross-hatch yellow box offences.

TfL is using a loophole created by the 2003 decriminalisation of the Transport for London Road Network to chase owners of vehicles, rather than their drivers, for payment of fines relating to traffic contraventions on the capital’s Red Routes.

Under the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Act 2003, TfL was granted powers to pursue the registered keepers of vehicles causing obstructions on over 300 miles of the capital’s roads, principally to issue charges for parking infringements, which are a civil rather than criminal offence.

Since the decriminalisation of the Transport for London Road Network to include box junctions and bus lanes, the Metropolitan Police Service has been enforcing traffic regulations under a special service agreement with TfL using traffic wardens, manned and unmanned cameras and Police Community Support Officers to enforce regulations in yellow boxes, bus lanes and all red routes.

Because yellow box contraventions aren’t considered to be criminal offences, the standard legal process in the UK does not apply, meaning that the person pursued for the charge has no right to defend themselves in court, and if they don’t pay up could end up with a County Court Judgement or recovery action from bailiffs.

In 2016 alone, one yellow box camera in Fulham raised over £2.4m from contraventions, while over £100m in fines has been collected via the capital’s yellow box cameras since 2004.