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New motorway law announced that could see motorists penalised

A new piece of legislation has been introduced on Britain’s motorways which will see drivers receive automatic fines and points on their licence for ignoring closed lanes.

The new rules which came into force on 10 June are cracking down on motorists who ignore the overhead red ‘X’ signs which signal when a lane is closed, usually because of an incident or a broken-down vehicle.

A survey by the RAC of 2,093 motorists showed that 99 per cent of respondents understood a red X meant a lane closure and 84 per cent of those who used a smart motorway in the last year noticed the red ‘X’ on overhead gantries.

However, 23 per cent ignored these signs and used closed lanes at least occasionally both purposefully or by accident.

Authorities believe that drivers receive adequate notice as the signs are clearly marking on gantries along with information telling the drivers to switch lanes well ahead of the signs, so have no excuse to ignore warnings.

Under the new legislation, smart cameras alongside many of the UK’s main stretches of motorway will be able to automatically issue a £100 fine and three penalty points on the driver’s licence for anyone ignoring the closed lanes.

AA president Edmund King said the use of cameras to catch offenders is a welcome measure to improve safety.

He said:  “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 Xs are put up to warn of an obstruction, so drivers must get out of the lane when they see them.”

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Gurjit Singh
As a member of the Criminal Litigation Accreditation Scheme (CLAS), holder of the Higher Rights of Audience (HRA) qualification and duty solicitor for the Coventry area, I regularly represent clients in a wide range of criminal cases, including road traffic offences.

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