British drivers could be slapped with multiple £70 fines from the start of next month, thanks to new local council powers.
From June 1, local councils in England and Wales will be able to take powers normally only given to the police, and dish out fines for minor infractions.
The new fines can be given for those who stop in a yellow box when they shouldn't, drive in a cycle lane, veer into a bus lane, or do U-turn in a place they shouldn't.
Fines can be issued off the back of CCTV cameras – not just the usual road-side cameras police use – and dashcam footage from other road users, including cyclists.
The RAC has warned that this could live to an “avalanche” of penalty charge notices for drivers.
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 learnt 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.”
The current Highway Code says that drivers 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”, but there are exceptions to this such as if you need to turn right and are stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic.
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