1 February 2023

Thousands of drivers prosecuted after ignoring red X signals

After one council revealed it had prosecuted almost 10,000 drivers, National Highways and Emergency services have come together to warn drivers of the danger of ignoring highway instructions.

A red X is used to show lane closures further ahead such as a broken down vehicle or temporary road works. To avoid serious collisions, it is imperative that drivers abide by the signal.

Additionally, it is vital for drivers to keep a red X lane clear due to emergency services being able to gain access to a collision further ahead.

After a change in legislation in 2019, camaras were installed that automatically detect vehicles driving in a lane with a red X and as of September 2022, all police forces in the UK have been able to enforce cameras.

The cameras can be used to detect two things, passing under the signal itself and entering a lane beyond the signal, both of which can result in penalty points and a fine of up to £100 or, in some cases more severe penalties or a court appearance.

Since November 2019, there have been 9,427 first Notices of Intended Prosecution sent out by the police force. Nearly 5,000 have completed a safety awareness course, while others selected alternative options such as paying a fixed penalty or having an appearance in court.

Fleet managers are advised to ensure all drivers are aware of the consequences of ignoring red X lanes, and more importantly, the dangers in which drivers can put themselves and those around them.