You don't need to add extra html like that as you can sinply apply clear:both to the element itself.
Then remove the div that has clear:both applied.
background: images/box_bg.gif) repeat-y;
border-bottom: 1px solid #ccc6c6;
border-top: 1px solid #b0a8a8;
<h3 class="section_box_head">Headline test</h3>
<div id="box_bg"> <span> Lor
You only have to add an empty clearer when there are no other elements present or when you want the parent to encompass the floating content although there are other methods for this anyway that don't need extra html mark up (see faq on floats).