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Motorway red X signs now manned by cameras

Jun 17, 2019 | News

New legislation from the Home Office allows Highways England to use cameras to catch those drivers ignoring red X signs and issue them with Fixed Penalty Notices. Car & Van Finance Direct reveals all!

Smart Motorways

Red X signs on the motorway are now being enforced by cameras, with new Home Office legislation allowing Highways England to use cameras to automatically deliver Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to those drivers who ignore red X signs on motorway gantries and continue to drive in closed lanes. Those caught by the cameras will receive three penalty points on their driving licence and face a fine up to £100.

Under previous rules, motorists could only be issued with an FPN for ignoring a red X sign if they were caught doing so by a police officer, this was made unlikely due to the falling number of road traffic officers on the road in the UK. In an attempt to stop offenders, Highways England have sent out more than 180,000 warning letters to drivers since the start of 2017.

Under the new camera enforcement system, as is also the case with motorway speeding offences, the police force where the red X breach happens is the one that issues the FPN.

The move was first announced this May, with chief highways engineer at Highways England, Mike Wilson commenting at the time:
”Our motorways are already among the safest in the world but this move will make them even safer. 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.”

AA president, Edmund King called the move a welcome measure, commenting:

”Our research shows that one in 20 drivers continue to drive in red X lanes, even when they’ve seen it and, so far, Highways England have written warning letters to over 180,000 drivers about their actions. Red X’s are put up to warn of an obstruction, so drivers must get out of the lane when they see them. We have had several incidents recently where AA members’ cars have been hit in a live lane on ‘smart’ motorways.”

The AA conducted a survey of 20,569 drivers in September 2018, with the data revealing that five percent of drivers continue to drive in lanes covered by a red X even when they’ve seen the sign. Whilst the RAC conducted a survey of 2,093 drivers in March 2019 which saw 23 percent of drivers admitting to having ignored a red motorway X sign either on purpose or accidentally.

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