Motorists who ignore the red X sign are a danger to themselves and other road users


As of March this year, drivers could be handed a fine and/or points on their licence for ignoring motorway lane closures.

The Press Association has reported that new penalties could be introduced in the UK sometime in the spring.

According to Highways England, motorists ignoring the red X sign, which lights up on overhead gantries, could be dangerous.

Motorists who ignore the red X sign are a danger to themselves and other road users

Fines considered for drivers who ignore motorway lane closures displayed on overhead gantries © Copyright Logomachy and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.


Since December 2016, almost 80,000 warning letters have been sent to motorists who’ve chosen to ignore the rules on smart motorways and a third of these were related to drivers continuing to use a closed lane despite being told to stay out.

In a document written by Highways England and seen by the Press Association, it says that roadside cameras which can automatically spot lane violations is ‘currently being tested by the Home Office’.

If caught, motorists could be handed penalties similar to ones handed out for going through a traffic light on red – a £100 fixed penalty notice and three points on your licence.

On smart motorways, the hard shoulder is used to allow traffic to flow but if an incident occurs, the red X sign is put into operation which tells motorists that the lane is closed.

Director of the RAC Foundation Steve Gooding, believes that Highways England need to ensure that drivers know exactly what the red X sign means when it shows on the overhead gantries.

Lanes are only closed if an accident or a breakdown has occurred. Ignoring the red X sign puts drivers and other road users at risk and ignoring it could see motorists hit with a fixed penalty notice or worse.


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