Ignoring The Red X Could Now Cost You £100

Thu 16th May 2019

The introduction of smart motorways across the UK has allowed for better traffic management for Highways England, but not everyone is paying attention and they could now face a hefty fine.

Those who ignore the red X signs on a motorway, advising drivers that the lane is closed, can face a fine of up to £100 and three penalty points on the licence. But that penalty can currently only be implemented if traffic police spot those taking the risk. However, from June 10th, the law is changing to allow cameras to catch drivers and issue a fine automatically by recognising a number plate.

Though the law comes into force next month, the cameras won’t actually be active until later in the summer as the Home Office tests the system and makes upgrades to cameras where necessary.

Highways England’s safety director Mike Wilson said: “Red X signs over closed lanes help protect drivers from dangers ahead. Most drivers comply with lane closures, but the minority of people who don’t are putting themselves and other road users at real risk. We welcome this auto-enforcement and the increase to driver safety it will bring.”

Research published by the RAC last month found that close to a quarter of drivers admitted that they have either deliberately or accidentally driven on a closed stretch of smart motorway.