Motorists who fail to observe the red X warning sign on smart motorways are now liable for a £100 Fixed Penalty Notice and three points on their licence, following the introduction of a new traffic law this month.
Red Xs are a feature of the country’s network of ‘smart’ motorways.They are displayed on overhead signs to indicate a lane closure, which may be for one of several reasons – because of an accident or breakdown, debris in the carriageway, or because of a person or animal on the road.Lanes are also closed to help emergency services get through or to provide a safe space for road workers.
Although it is currently illegal to drive in a line when a red X is showing, until now the police have only been able to fine offenders in they catch them in the act.
The change in the law means that now the police can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice if the driver is caught on a road traffic camera.
Describing the move as a “welcome measure to improve safety,” AA President Edmund King
commented: “Our research shows that one in 20 drivers continue to drive in red X lanes even when they’ve seen it, and so far Highways England have written warning letters to over 180,000 drivers about their actions.Red Xs are put up to warn of an obstruction, so drivers must get out of the lane when they see them.”
Highways England says it has issued more than 180,000 warning letters since the start of 2017 to drivers who have ignored red X signs.