Don’t Ignore The Red X On Motorways

Thu 13th Jun 2019

A new law was passed this week which means an automatic fine will be issued to those drivers who choose to ignore the ‘Red X’ on Britain’s smart motorways.

The punishment for driving through a lane marked with a Red X will be a £100 fine and three penalty points, which will be issued as ANPR cameras are now capable of reading number plates and sending out fines in the post.

The ‘Red X’ on motorways indicates that that lane is closed and advises motorists to move across to another lane to avoid an incident ahead. From Monday 10th June, the smart motorway technology was allowed to automatically issue fines, whereas previously it was up to traffic police to catch offenders in the act.

A recent survey of motorists found that almost a quarter of drivers in the last year had ignored a red X and continued to drive in a closed lane.

“Despite the critical role red X signs play in keeping motorway users safe, our research shows far too many drivers are disobeying them and in turn risking lives,' said Rod Dennis of the RAC, who conducted the survey.

“Twenty-three per cent admitted to ignoring red X signs, despite practically all drivers (99 per cent) being clear that the sign means the lane is closed, while nearly half (48 per cent) said they frequently see other drivers disobeying them.

“A lot of work has been done to educate drivers about the role red X signs increasingly plays on our motorway network, but clearly more needs to be done and enforcement seems the obvious next step.

“A majority of drivers told us that they were in favour of cameras being used by the police to catch offenders, something which we very much hope will make our motorways safer.”