Automatic £100 fines brought in for motorway lane violations

Motorway drivers could receive an automatic £100 fine for flouting the red X above closed motorway lanes

smart motorways

A warning has been issued to all UK motorway users advising that a new automatic ticketing system is coming into force that could land road users with a £100 fine and three points on their licence.

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The new system centres around cameras overseeing the lane closures that are marked with a red ‘X’ on the UK’s network of smart motorways. The red ‘X’ is used to warn motorists that a lane of the motorway is closed to traffic and that the lane could contain a stranded vehicle or debris on the road.

The move to punish road users who flaunt the rules come hot on the heels of a Highway Code overhaul, with unlimited fines and up to 14 years in prison just two of the more severe penalties for not following the new rules.

A tweet on the Highways Agency said:

There's no eXcuse - don't ignore the red X.

It's illegal to drive in a red X lane and motorway cameras can now automatically detect drivers who flout the law. You could receive a £100 fine and get three points on your licence.

The stopped vehicle detection system that the automatic tickets rely on is something that was supposed to be implemented on all UK smart motorways from the start. Sadly, that didn’t happen initially, although transport secretary Grant Schapps pledged to fix this in April this year.

What is an ALR smart motorway?

An ALR (All Lane Running) smart motorway boosts capacity and flow by using the hard shoulder of the road as an active lane at busy times. Drivers are notified of the change by illuminated signs on motorway gantries.

The issue many people have with the system is in the vent of a breakdown though. Emergency refuges are located at points along a smart motorway, although if that is not possible – due to the severity of the breakdown – a vehicle may have to stop in a live lane.

On an occasion such as this, a stopped vehicle detection camera should notify the control centre of the issue, with the control centre then closing that lane of the motorway. While in theory that works, in the real world there is still a portion of time that the vehicle will be stranded in a live lane – and we still don’t know how effective the cameras are in thick fog and inclement weather.

For more information on using smart motorways and how you can stay safe, head to: