Drivers to be handed £100 automatic fines for ignoring “smart motorway” rules

Quoted from Mirror.co.uk-

‘Dangerous drivers could soon find themselves being handed £100 fines for breaking the rules on smart motorways. 

Thousands of motorists who ignore red ‘X’ warning signs – which are linked to lane closures – could find themselves slapped with a penalty fine and three points per breach on their licence. 

The punishments are linked to new technology that allows police to use traffic cameras to penalise those who don’t abide by temporary changes on motorways such as the M1 and M25. 

New rules under the Road Traffic Offenders Order 2019 come into effect on 10 June, however, Highways England has insisted that cameras won’t be used to penalise drivers until ‘late summer’ to allow for testing. 

Smart motorways controversially operate without a hard shoulder and at present use red ‘X’ warnings on overhead gantries to close lanes, which can indicate stranded vehicles on the road ahead. 

However, there are concerns that too many drivers – around 8% of those who use them – are ignoring the signs, and therefore risking a major accident, or at the very least swerving hard to dodge stationary vehicles. 

A red X sign indicates that a lane is closed to traffic. In most cases it’s linked to people working ahead or an incident. 

Driving in one is illegal, and in many cases could mean you’re obstructing police or ambulance forces from attending an emergency. 

Under current rules, Highways England can issue written warnings to drivers who are caught ignoring the signs. 

The organisation told Mirror Money that around 180,000 letters have been sent since the start of 2017, although these don’t come with penalties. 

However, on 13 May, the Home Office approved plans for the use of cameras to automatically detect – and penalise – motorists who break the rules.’ 

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