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Mastering STOP signs and YELLOW BOX junctions to pass your driving test

Passing your driving test requires a great understanding of the many road signs and painted road markings you will face whilst you are driving around.Β  When you sit your driving test, you will be expected to correctly deal with junctions, including the 2 below which we will discuss with you today. Yellow box junctions and stop junctions are 2 common types of junctions where a lot of things can potentially go wrong, mainly just because of basic lack of understanding. Please read below to brush up on your knowledge and help prepare you for a pass with!


Understanding Yellow Box Junctions

Yellow box junctions are a common feature on UK roads and feature on most test routes, they are designed to keep busy junctions clear and traffic flowing smoothly. These are marked by crisscross yellow lines painted on the road. The key rule is simple: do not enter the box unless your exit road is clear. However, you can and should enter the box and wait on the yellow crisscross when you want to turn right and are only being prevented from doing so by oncoming traffic or other vehicles waiting to turn right.Β 

If you are going ahead at a green light yellow box junction, ensure the traffic in front of you will remain clear of having to stop in the yellow box and only proceed if you can get out of the yellow box. Watch carefully for slowing traffic ahead as you cannot afford to get stuck in a queue on the yellow box because you mis-judged the flow of the traffic.


Tackling Yellow Box Junctions Turning Right with MSPSL

  1. Mirror: Check your rear-view and right side mirrors to understand the traffic situation behind you.
  2. Signal: Indicate your intended direction well in advance.
  3. Position: Stay in the correct lane for your intended route, most commonly the far right lane.
  4. Speed: Approach the junction at a speed that allows you to stop safely if the exit is not clear.
  5. Look: Assess the junction and ensure your exit road is clear before entering the box. Keep an eye on pedestrians and oncoming traffic.


Stopping at Stop Signs

At a stop sign, you must come to a complete stop at the line, do not try a rolling stop. A stop sign means all 4 wheels have stopped rolling and you must give way to all traffic on the road you are joining or crossing. It is not acceptable to be crawling at a walking speed or a snails pace, consider applying your handbrake / parking break to confirm you and your examiner know that you have done as instructed by the sign. ADI’s across the country have had pupils come back with 1 serious fault many, many times, failing to stop at a stop junction. It is such an easy fault to fix!


Mastering Stop Signs with MSPSL

  1. Mirror: Check all mirrors to be aware of the position and speed of traffic behind you.
  2. Signal: If turning, signal in the direction you intend to go.
  3. Position: Position your vehicle correctly, making sure not to block any pedestrian crossings.
  4. Speed: Reduce speed and stop completely at the stop line, even if it looks clear, consider using your handbrakeΒ  / parking break or at least pushing the break pedal as you stop more firmly than usual so you can feel you have pushed it right down once you have stopped.
  5. Look: Look both ways for approaching traffic. Only proceed when it is safe to do so.

Tips for Your Driving Test

  • Patience: At yellow box junctions, wait patiently if your exit road is not clear. Rushing can lead to mistakes.
  • Full Stop: At stop signs, ensure you make a complete stop. Rolling stops are a common mistake and account for a lot of test failures.
  • Observation: Constantly observe your surroundings. The examiner will be looking for good situational awareness.
  • Confidence: Approach junctions confidently but cautiously. Hesitation can be as bad as rushing.


Mastering the rules and applying the MSPSL routine for yellow box junctions and stop signs is crucial for passing your UK driving test. Remember, these rules are not just for the test but are vital for safe driving throughout your life. Practice regularly, stay observant, and drive safely!

This blog provides a basic overview. For more detailed information, it’s always best to refer to the latest UK Highway Code or consult a qualified driving instructor.

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