Drivers being reminded not to ignore the ‘red X’ - The Evesham Observer

Drivers being reminded not to ignore the ‘red X’

Evesham Editorial 12th Feb, 2023   0

EMERGENCY services have joined forces with National Highways to remind drivers – don’t ignore the red X.

Enforcement cameras can now be used to automatically detect vehicles passing illegally under a red X or entering the lane beyond a red X, which can result in a fixed penalty of up to £100 and three points or, in some cases, more severe penalties or a court appearance.

The red X is used to close lanes when an obstruction such as a broken-down vehicle is detected in the road ahead. Abiding by the signal is vital to avoid a potentially serious collision.

The majority of drivers – more than 90 per cent – comply with the red X, although thousands have been prosecuted for not doing so.

Surrey Police was one of the first forces to begin enforcing camera detected red X offences in November 2019. Since then there have been 9,427 first Notices of Intended Prosecution sent out by the force. Of these over half – 4,926 – have so far completed a safety awareness course, while others selected alternative disposal options such as paying a fixed penalty or having the matter heard at court.




Chief Constable Jo Shiner, the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for Roads Policing, said:

“Red X signals are in place on the motorway for your safety and the safety of others.


“Sadly, there are too many instances where motorists fail to comply with a red X signal and put others in incredible danger by driving in a closed lane.

Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE) Managing Director, Martin Flaherty OBE, said:

“It is important to remember ambulances on blue lights may be trying to reach critically ill patients on motorway lanes where red X signals are in force, for example, after a serious road traffic collision.

“If those lanes are blocked by drivers who should not be there, ambulance crews could be delayed in reaching patients who urgently need our life saving skills.

Dan Quin, Road Lead – Transportation at National Fire Chiefs Council, said: “When used in the event of emergencies, they provide invaluable access to the scene of an incident, preventing time lost in negotiating the build-up of traffic.

“Red X signals also provide safety for workers while on the road, including emergency services and the public, by reducing the risk of further collisions.

National Highways Traffic Officer, Dave Harford, said: “We don’t take the decision to close lanes lightly, but when we do, drivers must obey the closure.

“A Red X signal is there for the safety of everyone on the road – including people in difficulty, traffic officers, recovery and emergency services helping them, and all other road users besides.

“Thankfully, the vast majority of drivers do comply with the signals but those who don’t put themselves and others at risk.”

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