New motorway cameras handing out £100 fines for this offence

Published 12 June 2019

Drivers are being warned they could be handed an instant £100 fine with three penalty points for driving under a red ‘X’ on motorway gantries from this week.

The red ‘X’ is used to signify a lane closure on smart motorways and ignoring it could result in a serious incident. While police officers have previously been able to hand out fines to drivers they’ve caught using a closed lane, this is the first time cameras have been made live to catch culprits.

The signs could be displayed for several reasons, including a crash or breakdown, debris in the carriageway or because of a person or animal in the road. Lanes might be closed for a long distance ahead of an incident to help emergency services get through traffic.

Previous research by Highways England has revealed that a third of drivers don’t know what to do if they see a red ‘X’, with a shocking one in 12 saying they’d come to a stop.

If you see a red ‘X’ sign above a lane, you should move across to another lane as soon as it’s safe to do so.


marcus gault    on 12 June 2019

Or indeed they could be displayed with any valid reason at all, the incident long since being cleared!

Arthur C Jenner    on 17 June 2019

what if i brake down and cant get to a safe area who should i ring to close that lane they dont seem to care aslong as the trafic is moviing nice for them and not holding up the the speeders
thanks for reply

Steve Robarts    on 17 June 2019

The Highway Code tells you all you need to know.

Richard Matta    on 17 June 2019

If you see a red ‘X’ sign above a lane, you should move across to another lane as soon as it’s safe to do so.

You may/will have to drive in the X lane before it is safe to move to another lane.

Richard Matta

Mr Nexus    on 17 June 2019

'As soon as it's safe to do so?' Does that mean that you can drive on in a lane with a red X if the motorway's packed and no-one's letting you in? If you can't get in, do you stop before the gantry, indicate and wait for someone to let you in? If so, what if the Joe behind you hasn't seen the red X and ploughs into the back of you. Will the 'authorities' allow appeals if you are caught out? I've been fined once in my motoring life for the 'offence' of crossing a solid white line on a motorway slip road - I did so to avoid an accident with someone cutting in front of me. Plod said it was dangerous even though I said I had no choice - he fined me with 3 pen points. You decide how this is going to play out, but it's not going to be in the motorist's favour.

soldierboy 001    on 18 June 2019

People like you should not be allowed a licence to drive because you have not got any common sense and it is every drivers duty to allow other drivers to comply with the law. I suggest you buy a decent dash camera that you could use in a court of law if you were sent a summons to show that you were not allowed to comply, now put on your indicator and attempt to join the next lane.

elfman    on 17 June 2019

There could be a lot of people slamming on the brakes so they can change lanes before the gantry! Cameras are a very blunt instrument.

   on 17 June 2019

Is there a minimum warning distance of the red X? I know sometimes there are bent arrow signs before the X is seen. Is this always the case? In particular, when they are first switched on?

soldierboy 001    on 18 June 2019

I am not sure how these work but if you get no previous warning then you should be allowed to pass the first red cross and only subsequent signs should have a live camera, If this is the case then there is no case to answer, the gantries are far enough apart.

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