Crossroads & Box Junctions

You have already covered junctions, and how to approach using the M S P S L routine and choosing a safe time to emerge.

During this lesson, you will learn:

  • How to drive through and emerge from crossroads
  • How to deal with yellow box junctions


Crossroads can be dangerous junctions to emerge from because of the extra road to consider.

They are also more hazardous to drive through because vehicles may drive out in front of you. They may not realise how close you are, or they may not realise they have to give way.

Types of Crossroads

You will come across:

  • Traffic Light controlled crossroads
  • Marked crossroads – with give way or stop lines
  • Staggered crossroads – where the junctions are not directly opposite each other
  • Unmarked crossroads – these have no road markings at all, so no-one has priority

Driving through Crossroads

Look for signs and road markings that inform you there are crossroads ahead, and what type of crossroad it is.

Start the M S P S L routine early. It is important to know what is behind you, and how close it is to you. If a vehicle is travelling too close, you may decide to slow down just in case a vehicle drives out of the crossroads junction in front of you.

While driving towards the crossroads junction you should either maintain your speed, or slow your speed. You will decide this depending on how close the vehicle is behind you and how well you can see in to the junction. If you can’t see in the junction, a car wanting to emerge may not be able to see out.

Turning Right at a Crossroads (from Major to a Minor Road)

If you want to turn right, and a vehicle approaching also wants to turn right, there are two methods that can be used. Both methods are acceptable, and the method chosen may depend on:

  • The layout of the crossroads
  • What course the other driver decides to take
  • Road markings

You may choose to turn Offside to Offside or Nearside to Nearside:

Offside to Offside – you will turn right, into the new road, and pass each other on the driver’s side to driver’s side. This is the safest method. You have a clear view of the road ahead.

Nearside to Nearside – you will turn right, into the new road, and pass each other on the passenger side to passenger side. This is not the safest method, but it is sometimes the only option depending on road markings and other road user’s choice.

Alternatively, you may turn one after the other.

Your decision may depend on:

  • What other drivers do
  • The road layout

Emerging from a Crossroads Junction

Vehicles turning right do not have priority
Vehicles turning left or going straight ahead have priority over vehicles turning right
You must be aware that not all road users know these rules.

To stay safe try to get eye contact with the other driver and watch the car for signs and clues to what the driver is doing. Are the wheels moving? Are the wheels turning? Has the driver noticed you?

Proceed only when its safe!

Box Junctions

Box Junctions are yellow criss cross lines painted on the road surface.

The aim of box junctions is to prevent road users from stopping and blocking the road, so to keep traffic flowing. It is important to understand how to use them correctly, because locking a box junction is illegal and can result in a driving penalty, and a driving test fail.

Box Junction Rules

  • You must not enter a box junction unless the road you are driving into is clear.
  • You can enter a box junction when you want to turn right, and the only thing stopping you is oncoming traffic.
  • If there is a vehicle already waiting in the box junction, you may wait behind it as long as you won’t be blocking oncoming traffic wanting to turn right

If you enter a box junction when your exit road is not clear, you can prevent other road users from continuing with their journey. This is illegal and can cause you to fail your driving test.

Turning Right at a Box Junction

  • Use the MSPSL routine to approach the junction
  • Look into your exit road to check if it’s clear or blocked
  • If your exit road is clear, enter the box junction and wait until it’s safe to turn
  • If your exit road is blocked, wait behind the stop line