Demystifying Yellow Box Junctions
In a move meant to reduce road carnage in the country, the Traffic Safety Council of Zimbabwe (TSCZ) yesterday officially adopted SADC signs and signals the new Southern African Development Community (SADC) road signs and regulations. The new code replaces the old Highway Code developed in the early 1970s.
TSCZ has completed a new Highway Code to replace the 1979 document that was formerly being used in an effort to curb the huge carnage on the country’s roads.
However, it seems the public is not taking the issue seriously due to lack of knowledge on SADC uniform road signs.
The SADC signs and signals come with new colours and signs for pedestrians, passengers and even animal-drawn vehicles must also be armed with reflectors. Carriageway markings have been redesigned to match those in other countries in the region, while a four-way stop system has been introduced, which is said to be safer than traditional stop signs or signal-controlled intersections.
Motorists, cyclists and pedestrians must buy, study and abide by the new Highway Code that is already available locally.
Yesterday people on social media were in panic mode about the new yellow box junction along Samora Machel and Julius Nyerere intersection in Harare. The Yellow Box Junction seeks to enforce the rule that restricts motorists from entering intersection when the exit is not clear.
Yellow Box Junction Rules
Yellow Box junctions: These are criss-cross yellow lines painted on the road. You MUST NOT enter the box until your exit road or lane is clear. They are usually found at the junction of two or more roads and occasionally at roundabouts or outside fire and ambulance stations. A yellow box junction does not require any other signage.
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 totally without stopping.
Do not simply follow the vehicle in front as it may stop and prevent your exit and don’t let other drivers pressure you to enter the box when a clear exit is not available.
How To Avoid Getting A Yellow Box Ticket In The First Place.
- The substance of the law is that no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box junction due to the presence of stationary vehicles.
- Therefore when approaching a yellow box junction before entering do make sure that there is a space on the other side of the yellow box junction for your vehicle to enter. 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.”
- Do be particularly careful where a road of say three lanes emerges on the other side of the box junction to 2.
- The contravention is that you stopped in the yellow box because of the presence of stationary vehicles