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It’s a fine say DSD if you’re in the green zone

Should I stay or should I go now?

By Ciara Quinn

WEST Belfast motorists are being urged to adhere to the ‘green box code’ at junction signs on our roads. At some traffic lights motorists will have noticed ‘green’ areas on the roads, with many scratching their heads wondering, do I cross or do I stop?

The answer is at hand, readers – you must stop at the first stop line or you could face a fine.

The green boxes are ‘advanced stop lines’ for cyclists – and their aim is to increase safety for those on two wheels as they move up to the front of the queue when traffic signals are red, and make them more clearly visible to drivers. The advanced stop lines are also designed to help cyclists move into cleaner air away from exhaust fumes.

A straw poll by the Andersonstown News this week showed that most motorists are happily ignoring the cycle stop lines and pushing on up towards the lights. But they may get fined if they do. One frustrated driver contacted the Andersonstown News and said that he was aware of the road markings but was concerned that most other  drivers are not.

“I understand not to go on the green area, it’s clearly marked for bicycles to allow them to get away quicker.

“I am aware that other drivers abuse them because they seem to see other vehicles as opponents to outmanoeuvre and therefore try to race away early.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Regional Development’s Roads Service moved to clear the confusion.

“Motor vehicles approaching a junction with a green area must stop at the first stop line, but cyclists may continue to the second,” he said. “Motorists who enter the area could get an endorsable fixed penalty notice or even court prosecution, depending on the circumstances.

“It is regarded as legal for cyclists to move up the inside of traffic to get to this green area. It is essential that this is done with care.”

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