600 “near misses” on M25 Smart Motorway sections | Smart Highways Magazine: Industry News

600 “near misses” on M25 Smart Motorway sections

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MPs have been told that the removal of motorway hard shoulders on the M25 has led to as many as 600 “near misses at high speed”.

The Daily Mail says that, for the first time, Highways England has admitted it is worried about the danger to motorists, despite rejecting police opposition to the trial, with Mike Wilson, Highways England’s chief operations officer, telling MPs, ‘The public are travelling through the Red Xs and coming across traffic officers.  That is where the near miss comes from.’

The report defines near misses and ones in which cars have almost collided with police or members of the public in a lane displaying a Red X.  They are either caught on CCTV, or reported by police or motorists.

Official figures show that on parts of the motorway, 12 vehicles are driving through Red X signs into closed lanes every minute at the busiest times.  Mr Wilson told the transport select committee that one in 12 drivers flout the signs.  Drivers are fined if they are caught in Red X lanes, but a 2014 survey for the Highways Agency found a third of road users did not know what the signs meant.


I drive the M25 every day but did not know about the RED X till reading this mail.
The people that put this in place without adequate publicity or Notices should be prosecuted for putting motorists lives in danger. People are not FLOUTING the Law, they are probably un aware of the meaning of the signs, I still haven’t see this section so have no idea if I would have understood the meaning as self explanatory.

The use of RED X,s is not new on the motorway network. They were in use before the introduction of Smart Motorways, the M6 and M5 around Birmingham have used Matrix gantry signs for years.
What is there not to understand about a RED X displaying above a lane, surely it can only mean don’t use it?

Darren Gregory

I think that the whole driving standards in this country need to be overhauled, I would estimate that amoungst the miliions of drivers that you could cut half of the cars on the road. This would be due to uninsured, unlicenced, or plain dangerous, ignorant drivers.
Speeding is not all that contributes to accidents, I would say more than a third of drivers are not upto a good standard of driving, let alone knowing some or a lot of the highway code.
If it was down to me I think that you should hold a motorbike licence before you can apply for a car licence, then you would certainly weed out the poor drivers, also even able to drive a car you should then be tested every 5 years.
I see theses cameras as a good way to calm speeders, however it only pushes them to speed on local roads, making up lost time.
Since the introduction of car cams, this would be serve as evidence to prosecute bad drivers I see on a day to day basis, for example running through red lights, or driving with a mobile phone.
Its about time this country wakes up and removes dangerous drivers!