Drivers face automatic £100 fines and three points for driving in closed motorways lanes

Drivers who ignore lane closures on smart motorways in England will face automatic £100 fines and three points on their licence under new laws.

Hundreds of miles of UK roads have been converted to smart motorways meaning that the hard shoulder can be used as an additional lane.

Signs displaying red X’s are used to shut down a lane when required, such as when there is an accident.

Highways England, which operates England’s motorways and major A-roads, said thousands of motorists ignore lane closures putting other road users at “real risk”.

The agency has sent out 180,000 warning letters about the issue since December 2016.

Motorists can already be penalised for driving in a closed lane but only if they are caught by a police officer at the time of the offence.

Under new powers, police will be able to fine drivers caught on camera in closed lanes.

The new powers will come into force from “late summer”, Highways England said.

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

He went on: “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.

“We have had several incidents recently where AA members’ cars have been hit in a live lane on smart motorways.”


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