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Red X warning

3 February 2023

Emergency services have joined forces with National Highways to remind drivers not to ignore the red X sign after one council revealed it had prosecuted almost 10,000 drivers.

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 cameras can 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.

National Highways says that if your vehicle has a problem, or you get into trouble on a motorway, stay calm and try to exit at the next junction or motorway service area.

If that’s not possible, put your left indicators on, move into the left lane, enter the next emergency area, or hard shoulder, put your hazard lights on, get behind a safety barrier where there is one and keep well away from moving traffic.

Drivers should also call National Highways on 0300 123 5000 then a breakdown provider for help.

If you are unable to exit your vehicle and get to a safe place, have stopped in a live traffic lane or feel your life is in danger, National Highways says that you should stay in your vehicle with your seatbelts and hazard lights on and call 999 immediately or press the SOS button in your car.

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