Driving bans for breaking motorway rules

Driving bans for breaking motorway rules
Motorists are being warned that they’ll face heavy fines and even bans for flouting laws on motorways.

Highways England is reminding drivers of the hefty punishments for ignoring motorway lane closures. The warning comes after a van driver was penalised for driving on the hard shoulder around a coned closure southbound between Junctions 2 and 1 of the M42 last month despite the motorway being closed due to a serious collision.

The motorist was hit with three penalty points, a fine of over £1,000 and a six-month driving ban for ignoring the lane closure on the West Midlands motorway.

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Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, hopes the latest prosecution will remind drivers of the dangers of ignoring motorway lane closures, and the punishments they face if they do.

"We hope this case sends out an important message because those who ignore road closures put other people’s safety in jeopardy and this was the case here for our traffic officers," he said.

READ MORE: Smart motorways — what are they and how do you use them?

"Any decision to close the motorway is not taken lightly, but when this happens, drivers must obey the closure. 

"It’s there for the safety of everyone on the road – people in difficulty, recovery and emergency services helping them, and all other road users besides."

Motorists should keep in mind the laws around motorway lane closures, especially as dynamic 'smart motorways' which close and open lanes (including the hard shoulder) without the use of cones are becoming more common.

Smart motorways are sections of motorway that use various traffic management measures to ease congestion and increase capacity, and currently operate on a number of motorways across the UK.

SEE ALSO: Emergency Refuge Areas instead of hard shoulders — how to use them

These measures include temporarily closing lanes, converting the hard shoulder to a running lane, and using variable speed limits to control the flow of traffic.

Highways England estimates these measures have improved journey reliability by 22%, but to ensure all roads users stay safe it’s imperative that motorists follow the changeable signs.

Commenting on the proliferation of these highways, RAC road safety officer Pete Williams said: “With more than 230 miles of smart motorway in operation, it is imperative that motorists become familiar with how these stretches of road operate.”

Copyright Press Association 2018. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

Did you know, you can get fined for moving out of the way of an ambulance?

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