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  • Writer's pictureSafer Highways

Drivers warned to stay out of red X motorway lanes

Motorists are being reminded to keep out of red X lanes on the motorway.

West Mercia Police and National Highways are warning that action will be taken against drivers who flout the law.

National Highways’ road safety team leader, Jamie Hassall, said: “Red X signals are there to indicate a lane is closed and help protect the safety of our workers, the emergency services and the public.

“As well as the red X signals, reduced speed limits are used to give drivers more time to see the signs and move into an open lane.

“Safety is at the heart of everything we do and our roads are among the safest in the world. We don’t take the decision to close lanes lightly, but when we do, drivers must obey the closure.

“We know that most drivers do comply with the signals but those who don’t put themselves and others at risk.

Driving in red X lanes is a criminal offence

“It has been a criminal offence for more than two decades to drive in a lane closed by a red X with drivers facing a driver education course or a fixed penalty fine of £100 and three points or, in some cases, more severe penalties or a court appearance.”

In the past 12 months within the West Mercia area (August 2021 to July 2022), 850 motorists have received a penalty notice for driving in a motorway lane closed by a red X signal.

Red X offences are detected automatically using motorway cameras and processed by the local police force who have responsibility for enforcement.

Superintendent Steph Brighton from West Mercia Police said: “Red X signals are in place on the motorway for your safety and the safety of others.

“We have seen too many instances where motorists have failed to comply with a red X signal and have put others in incredible danger by travelling through a closed lane. This is unacceptable and we will continue to prosecute drivers who do so.”

Author: Phil Wilkinson-Jones

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