Big changes to motorway driving as red X fines come in

Big changes to motorway driving as red X fines come in
Drivers who ignore warning signs on smart motorways will now be slapped with an automatic fine and points on their licence.

Police now have the power to punish those who drive in closed lanes on smart motorways, under Home Office legislation recently brought in from June 10.

New traffic cameras will catch drivers using lanes marked with red ‘X’ signs, with offenders facing a £100 fine and three penalty points.

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes welcomes the move, adding that RAC research shows too many motorists still ignore red X signs, whether deliberately or not.

Red ‘X’ signs are currently used to indicate a closed lane on a smart motorway, usually due to a broken-down vehicle that’s unable to reach an emergency refuge area (ERA).

Highways England, the organisation which runs the country’s main routes, has set up new cameras on motorway gantries which will now automatically catch rule-breaking drivers where before they had to be caught in the act by police.

Smart motorways have been established in recent years to help ease congestion, with schemes including using the hard shoulder as a running lane and variable speed limits.

The announcement comes after recent RAC research showed nearly a quarter of motorists still put lives at risk by ignoring the ‘red X’ signs on smart motorways.

Around half of drivers said they frequently see other drivers ignoring the signs, despite 99% of respondents aware that they indicate a closed lane.

Mr Lyes said: “Giving the police the ability to use cameras to catch drivers flouting the law is a necessary next step – and is something our research tells us a majority of drivers are supportive of

“The simple message for drivers is this – as soon as you see a red X sign, move over into an open lane safely.”

Copyright Press Association 2019. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.

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