New camera technology which could automatically detect drivers not complying with ‘Red X’ lane closure signs on smart motorways could go live from the spring.
Smart motorways involve using the hard shoulder for traffic unless a red X indicates it is closed, normally because of an accident or a broken down vehicle.
Road-side cameras which automatically detect lane violations are “currently being tested by the Home Office”, Highways England wrote in a document seen by the Press Association.
“We would expect enforcement of red X offences to commence from spring 2018,” it added.
Highways England has issued around 80,000 warning letters to drivers who have broken smart motorway rules since December 2016, with around a third relating to driving in closed lanes.
Incidents could be treated like passing through a red traffic light, which carries a fixed penalty of £100 and three penalty points.