Research by Britain’s RAC has found more than a fifth of motorists have driven in a lane closed by the red X sign in the past year.
23% of drivers surveyed admitted to having broken this new rule of the road by disregarding the red X, either occasionally accidentally (19%), often accidentally (1%) or occasionally on purpose (3%).
The survey of 2,093 members of the RAC Opinion Panel who had driven on a motorway in the last year confirmed more than eight in ten drivers (84%) had seen a red X appear on the verge-mounted or overhead gantry electronic variable message signs, and 99% said they knew that meant the lane was closed, suggesting that Highways England’s publicity around the meaning of the sign has worked.
However nearly half of drivers say they see other motorists disobey the signs.
If caught ignoring Red Xs, a driver faces the same penalty as for running a red light – £100 fine and three penalty points. No figures are yet available to detail how many drivers have been punished for the offence.