Motorists could be forced to pay fines for traffic offences they didn’t commit, due to a clause being enforced by Transport for London (TfL) for cross-hatch yellow box violations.

A loophole created by the 2003 decriminalisation of the Transport for London Road Network is being used by TfL to pursue the owners of offending vehicles, rather than the drivers themselves, for payment of fines relating to traffic contraventions on the capital’s red routes, which stretch for more than 300 miles.

Yellow box contraventions aren’t considered to be criminal offences, so the person pursued for the charge has no right to defend themselves in court. Refusing to pay up could land them with a County Court Judgement or the bailiffs at their door.

BBC’s Inside Out programme recently revealed that in 2016, one yellow box camera in Fulham raised over £2.4 million from contraventions, while over £100 million in fines has been collected via the capital’s yellow box cameras since 2004.

Daniel Powell, managing editor of Honest John – the motoring website that highlighted the situation, said: “Whilst nobody would argue against why yellow boxes exist, using them as an excuse to extract cash from innocent motorists isn’t what the Transport for London Act was created for.”

Honest John says it approached TfL for comment on more than one occasion but hadn’t received a response before making the story public.

Ben Robb, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, added: “This ill-judged approach means innocent motorists are being punished and harassed for events they had no control over.”

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