Fresh warnings have been announced for motorists who continue to ignore smart motorway rules. Offenders could potentially see themselves issued with a £1,000 fine and a six-month driving ban.
Highways England have once again warned motorists about the implications of ignoring smart motorway rules. Drivers who are choosing to ignore lane closures and temporary speed limits could see big punishments handed down to them in the form of fines and bans.
Despite being created back in 2006, the traffic management concept is still relatively new. With the actual term ‘smart motorways’ first introduced back in 2013, its focal purpose is to redirect traffic, ease congestion, regulate speed limits and close lanes when crashes occur.
The amplified media attention comes after a van driver was caught driving southbound between Junctions 2 and 1 of the M42 last month, despite the lane being closed due to a collision.
This act of defiance landed the driver three penalty points, a fine of over £1,000 and a six-month driving ban.
Richard Leonard, Head of Road Safety at Highways England, shared his views on the penalty, hoping it acts as a deterrent for motorists who continue to flout these rules thinking they’ll escape reprisal.
“We hope this case sends out an important message because those who ignore road closures put other people’s safety in jeopardy and this was the case here for our traffic officers,” he said.
“Any decision to close the motorway is not taken lightly, but when this happens, drivers must obey the closure. It’s there for the safety of everyone on the road – people in difficulty, recovery and emergency services helping them, and all other road users besides.”
Highways England have reported that the use of smart motorways has improved journey reliability by 22%, which is why it is crucial that motorists follow the variable signs in order to keep themselves and other drivers safe.
For more on rules of the road: