Sheffield drivers face £100 fine and penalty points for doing this on M1 smart motorway from today

Sheffield drivers who ignore lane closures on the M1 smart motorway now face £100 fines.

Monday, 10th June 2019, 10:47 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th June 2019, 5:20 pm

There are currently more than 20 sections of ‘smart motorway' on seven different motorways, including the M1 near Sheffied.

The M1 in Sheffield, between junctions 32 and 35A, was officially converted into a 'smart' motorway in March 2017, following months of engineering works.

As part of the changes, there is now an extra lane on the motorway with the hard shoulder being used for traffic.

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Smart motorway in Sheffield
Smart motorway in Sheffield

There is also more technology in place to manage traffic, with electronic signs in place to close lanes or change speed limits when needed.

From today (June 10) motorists who ignore these signs and drive in closed lanes could now be automatically handed a £100 fine and three penalty points.

The moves takes effect under new Home Office legislation.

Currently motorists who drive in closed lanes are only fined if they are caught by an officer at the time of the offence.

AA president Edmund King said: "Our research shows that one in 20 drivers continue to drive in red X lanes even when they’ve seen it, and so far Highways England have written warning letters to over 180,000 drivers about their actions.

"Red Xs are put up to warn of an obstruction, so drivers must get out of the lane when they see them.

"We have had several incidents recently where AA members’ cars have been hit in a live lane on smart motorways."

A Highways England spokesperson said that they close lanes for a reason and drivers ignoring the red Xs ‘put themselves and others at risk’.