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Cameras to enforce motorway red X signs from June

Cameras are to start enforcing ‘red X’ lane closure warnings from 10 June – with drivers ignoring the signs to get a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) of £100 fine and three penalty points.

New tech could detect drivers ignoring ‘Red X’ signs

Automatic enforcement of ‘red X’ signs kicks in from 10 June 2019

Up until now, it’s only been police officers catching drivers in the act who can issue FPNs but legislation laid by the Home Office earlier this week means that footage from remote or automated devices can now be used to automatically enforce red X offences – as well as correct use of the hard shoulder.

The move could see thousands of drivers now subject to FPNs; according to RAC research published two months ago, nearly one in four (23%) of drivers ignore red X warnings while since the beginning of 2017, Highways England has issued over 180,000 warning letters to drivers ignoring red x signs or misusing the hard shoulder.

The move has been greeted by the AA and Highways England. Edmund King, AA president, said: “Although it has taken far too long, this is a welcome measure to improve safety on motorways.

“Red Xs 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.”

Mike Wilson, Highways England’s chief highways engineer and executive director for safety, engineering and standards, said: “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.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.