What Does “Blocking the Box” Mean? | CLICK HERE

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What Does “Blocking the Box” Mean?

In many parts of the country, intersections operate relatively smoothly—the way they were intended. However, in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and other highly congested areas of New York City, blocking the box has become a big problem for commuters.


What does “blocking the box” mean?


Blocking the box, or gridlocking, occurs when you enter an intersection (called a “box” in traffic terms) knowing that the intersection is highly congested and you may not be able to clear it before the traffic light turns red. This causes a gridlock to form because now you are blocking the right-of-way for cross traffic and they are unable to pass through the intersection.

Other Considerations of Blocking an Intersection

This also causes pedestrians to be held up because they can’t cross the street with vehicles in their crosswalk. They must now wait until the congestion clears enough for you to exit the intersection.


Only drivers going straight can be given a ticket for gridlocking and not drivers that are making a turn.

What Do I Do if I Get a Ticket for Blocking the Box?

Because gridlock is such an issue in New York City, officials are allowed to ticket drivers who block the box—and they don’t even have to ticket you in person! Traffic enforcers use handheld devices to capture your license plate, and then you get a lovely ticket in the mail with a weighty fine attached.


When you receive your ticket in the mail, you probably won’t even clearly remember the incident, so you don’t want to plead guilty to it. You might be wondering what you should do instead . . . should you just pay the fine? No, we say beat it! There are many ways to beat traffic tickets, and a traffic attorney from our office can help you hold on to your hard-earned cash.


Penalties for gridlocking can include the following:

  • Points on your record
  • Fines and surcharges
  • License suspension and revocation if you accumulate enough points
  • Insurance premium hikes or loss of insurance

Contact the Law Office of James Medows

Now you know what it means to block the box in traffic terms. If you’ve received a ticket for a traffic violation in or around New York City, call the Law Office of James Medows. We are fierce traffic violation attorneys, and we can help you fight your ticket. Call for a free case review at 917-856-1247 or use the form on this page to schedule a time.

Contact James Medows