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Drivers could be hit with a £100 fine if they disregard the Red X lane closures on smart motorways after some safety cameras we given an upgrade.
The new cameras have the technology to detect which vehicles are ignoring the signs for closed lanes, meaning police will be able to give out fines without having to catch motorists in the act.
Just under 100 cameras have been upgraded by National Highways, with the improved cameras offering automatic detection for those flouting the Red X rules.
In a report, the National Highways said it had ‘upgraded 96 percent (92) of enforcement cameras on smart motorways to enable them to be used, and enforced by the police, to detect vehicles passing under a Red X or entering a lane beyond a Red X’.
It went on: “By the end of September 2022 we will have completed our commitment of upgrading 95 cameras. This will enable increased compliance with Red X signals and help ensure the safety of drivers and their passengers in difficulty, or road workers and emergency services who need a safe space to work.”
The report also warned: “It is illegal to ignore Red X signals. We will continue to work with police forces with the aim of further increasing enforcement.”
Those found breaking the rules can be hit with a £100 fine and three points on your licence, National Highways warns, and in some instances drivers could be whacked with ‘more severe penalties’ or be forced to go to court.
The implementation of the new cameras comes after numerous changes were introduced to the Highway Code last year.
In total, 33 rules of the Highway Code were amended and two new ones were introduced, including making driving through a Red X lane illegal.
Speaking last October, road safety charity IAM RoadSmart's CEO Tony Greenidge welcomed the new rules, saying: "Motorways and high-speed roads are changing and to support the successful implementation of these, IAM RoadSmart welcomes this Highway Code update.
"Clear advice on what to do if you break down on a smart motorway, and the vital importance of strict compliance with Red X signs are particularly important, in addition we would recommend that every driver refresh their knowledge by reading the new document.
"From daily commuters to occasional users, The Highway Code update will help protect drivers and their passengers, as well as keep England's vital road network flowing."