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How to respond if you see a Red 'X' sign

Red X animation

If red lights flash on a gantry and a Red “X” is showing, you must not drive in the lane shown as closed beyond the display. This applies until you pass another gantry indicating that the lane is no longer closed, by showing the word “End” or a speed limit sign and you are sure that it is safe to proceed. (Driving laws from the Highway Code)

Unfortunately, our Control Room Operators often witness drivers on CCTV ignoring the Red “X” signal and continuing to drive in the closed lane until they reach the incident. This not only puts the driver at risk - it also puts road workers, emergency services and anyone involved in the incident at risk too. The Red “X” is mandatory and you can face up to three points on your licence and a £100 fine.  

When you see a Red “X” above a lane on the motorway – you must check your surroundings, adapt your speed and when it is safe to do so, move into a different lane in advance of the Red “X” signal. The Red “X” restrictions guide drivers into an appropriate lane if there is roadworks, an incident or debris ahead and are used to keep Scotland moving and road users safe. 

If there are Red "X" signs over all lanes on the motorway, you must come to a stop. This is because traffic is being held, or the road is having to close. 

More tips from Road Safety Scotland can be found on their website



Other signals to look out for and what they mean:



Obey the speed limit displayed.

image of a 40 mph speed limit sign
right arrow on sign



Move into the next available lane as indicated by the arrow. This sign may be repeated.



National speed limit, or a message informing of the end of any restrictions.

national speed limit sign