Drivers Are Ignoring Red X Sign Despite Legal Ramifications

Tue 12th Mar 2019

One year on from the new smart motorways laws were introduced and almost a quarter of drivers are still choosing to ignore the red X telling them that a lane is no longer open.

Driving in a closed smart motorway lane has been an offence since March 2018, but a recent survey from the RAC has revealed that 23% of drivers have continued using the closed smart motorway lanes.

With smart motorways being introduced across the UK the likelihood of a lane being closed because of an incident ahead has increased, but the RAC is suggesting that more needs to be done to ensure that all drivers understand the implications of blocking the closed lane.

Currently Highways England is only issuing warning letters to those caught ignoring a red X sign, with Home Office approval to enforce non-compliance still to come.

With the red X signs predominantly enforced for safety reasons, it is important that drivers understand the serious consequences of ignoring them says Simon Williams, RAC spokesman: “Smart motorways are now very much part of the fabric of England's motorway network and will become even more commonplace in years to come with more being opened all the time,' he said.
“Our research found drivers understand very clearly what red Xs mean, yet worryingly far too many appear to have driven under one, dramatically putting themselves at risk of encountering a stationary vehicle or a worker in their path, and all the horrific consequences that could have.”