National Highways has launched a new road safety campaign, aiming to educate drivers on smart motorway signs…
National Highways’ Sign Campaign
A new ‘don’t ignore the Red X’ message will form the basis of National Highways’ latest campaign. Aimed at drivers who regularly use smart motorways that lack a hard shoulder, it’s hoped it’ll raise awareness and improve the safety of motorists. It comes just ahead of new cameras being installed, designed to catch drivers flouting the rules of the road, across the road network.
Last year, the state-owned company discovered that only 60% of drivers understood that a ‘red X’ means that a lane mustn’t be used under any circumstances. The sign is shown when a vehicle becomes stranded or when works are being conducted; meaning that ignoring it could have dire consequences.
Despite what the campaign might suggest, compliance with smart motorway signs is actually very high. For instance, some 98% of drivers obey Red X signs on smart motorways. Less than 3% said they typically waited to see what the issue was before moving out of a closed lane, too.
It’s obviously in the interests of drivers themselves to obey road signs. However, from spring 2022 new cameras (covering the entire network) will ensure that road signs are obeyed. If not, drivers face the prospect of steep fines and penalty points on their licences. This will represent a significant improvement in enforcement. Only last March The Times discovered that only half of the cameras on smart motorways could actually monitor whether Red X signs were being obeyed.
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