Red Crosses on Motorway Gantry Signs

Red Crosses on Motorway Gantry Signs

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Discussion

Arese

Original Poster:

20,146 posts

134 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
I've read on another thread that a red cross on a motorway gantry sign should be treated in the same way as a red light on a normal road, and that the punishment for ignoring one would be the same as going through a red light.

Now, I can recall a couple of occasions where I have passed under a red cross. I'd always be indicating left to get into an 'open' lane, and always have my eye on the carriageway ahead for any obstructions. But, if the road is busy it's not always possible to get out of a 'closed' lane in good time.

Would I be expected to just stop in lane three of a motorway if I couldn't get into lane two, if lane three suddenly had a red cross on the overhead gantry?

streaky

19,311 posts

196 months

Monday 18th October 2010
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To stop would be foolish, unless forced to by stationary vehicles ahead. The cross means "lane closed" and will have been preceded by a number of signs indicating that traffic must move out of that lane ahead.

If the sign flashes up suddenly in front of you or you join a road where the first matrix sign you see is displaying a red cross, you should be granted some grace to move into a clear lane. Passing a second one, though, might well result in a NOIP/S172 dropping through your letterbox.

Streaky

BO55 VXR

4,373 posts

198 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
In theory, you have should not even be in the lane by the time you get to the red cross because there should have been plenty of "get out of this lane" arrows on gantries well before then.

As an M25 Basher, I have seen countless times where people blatently ignore the 'X's and go shooting down the closed laned to end up coming to an abrupt halt because, unsurpisingly, the lane is blocked. Mind you, on the other side of the coin, I have seen a lot of 'X's and gone miles without an obstruction (not even anything on the H/S) and then an ALL CLEAR display

Arese

Original Poster:

20,146 posts

134 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
streaky said:
To stop would be foolish, unless forced to by stationary vehicles ahead. The cross means "lane closed" and will have been preceded by a number of signs indicating that traffic must move out of that lane ahead.

If the sign flashes up suddenly in front of you or you join a road where the first matrix sign you see is displaying a red cross, you should be granted some grace to move into a clear lane. Passing a second one, though, might well result in a NOIP/S172 dropping through your letterbox.

Streaky
Cheers Streaky.

So, they aren't to be treated like a red light (ie you must stop), and you shouldn't be punished in the same way as if you'd run a red light unless you're completely taking the piss.

BO55 VXR

4,373 posts

198 months

Monday 18th October 2010
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streaky said:
Passing a second one, though, might well result in a NOIP/S172 dropping through your letterbox.

Streaky
Assuming there is/was someone there to catch you wink

ewenm

28,506 posts

192 months

Monday 18th October 2010
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I always assumed they meant the picture they were trying to display to entertain motorists couldn't load. silly

Arese

Original Poster:

20,146 posts

134 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
BO55 VXR said:
In theory, you have should not even be in the lane by the time you get to the red cross because there should have been plenty of "get out of this lane" arrows on gantries well before then.

As an M25 Basher, I have seen countless times where people blatently ignore the 'X's and go shooting down the closed laned to end up coming to an abrupt halt because, unsurpisingly, the lane is blocked. Mind you, on the other side of the coin, I have seen a lot of 'X's and gone miles without an obstruction (not even anything on the H/S) and then an ALL CLEAR display
As Streaky says though there may be time when you join a motorway and move into lane two to overtake, and then see the red cross. Or, if an incident has just occurred the red cross may appear suddenly.

I don't ever ignore them, I always make sure I act on them and get out of the lane when safe, but I would never consider just stopping in the lane if the way ahead was clear but I couldn't get into the left lane. It just surprised me that a number of people in another thread stated that they should be treated like a red light.

BO55 VXR

4,373 posts

198 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
Arese said:
BO55 VXR said:
In theory, you have should not even be in the lane by the time you get to the red cross because there should have been plenty of "get out of this lane" arrows on gantries well before then.

As an M25 Basher, I have seen countless times where people blatently ignore the 'X's and go shooting down the closed laned to end up coming to an abrupt halt because, unsurpisingly, the lane is blocked. Mind you, on the other side of the coin, I have seen a lot of 'X's and gone miles without an obstruction (not even anything on the H/S) and then an ALL CLEAR display
As Streaky says though there may be time when you join a motorway and move into lane two to overtake, and then see the red cross. Or, if an incident has just occurred the red cross may appear suddenly.

I don't ever ignore them, I always make sure I act on them and get out of the lane when safe, but I would never consider just stopping in the lane if the way ahead was clear but I couldn't get into the left lane. It just surprised me that a number of people in another thread stated that they should be treated like a red light.
You would like to think that in this situation, drivers in the "OK" lanes would yield to allow you space.... but in the REAL world..... "GET OUT OF MY WAY"!!!"

F i F

36,150 posts

198 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
I think you might be referring to my comment in another thread.

The red cross means that you should proceed no further in that lane, and in that sense there is a virtual line across the road and crossing that virtual line means that you are liable for the same level of penalty as if you had passed a red traffic light. If of course a red X shows above ALL lanes as they would in the event of a full closure then you should either leave the motorway by the adjacent exit or stop.

The situation Streaky describes ie where a red X illuminates just as you are in final approach then that would imo be very good mitigation in event of a charge.

However as others have pointed out on this thread the reality on the roads is that in 99%+ of cases there has been plenty of warning of lane closures up ahead and signs to say to move out of the lane. When these clear instructions end and are replaced by a red X then in my opinion people who go past the red X should be charged.

If they pass one red X and then pass a second one at speed, as I have seen on the M40, then they should a) have a new one reamed, b) have their licence removed and c) required to take an extended test as they are not fit to hold a licence, in my opinion.

End.

Arese

Original Poster:

20,146 posts

134 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
F i F said:
I think you might be referring to my comment in another thread.

The red cross means that you should proceed no further in that lane, and in that sense there is a virtual line across the road and crossing that virtual line means that you are liable for the same level of penalty as if you had passed a red traffic light. If of course a red X shows above ALL lanes as they would in the event of a full closure then you should either leave the motorway by the adjacent exit or stop.

The situation Streaky describes ie where a red X illuminates just as you are in final approach then that would imo be very good mitigation in event of a charge.

However as others have pointed out on this thread the reality on the roads is that in 99%+ of cases there has been plenty of warning of lane closures up ahead and signs to say to move out of the lane. When these clear instructions end and are replaced by a red X then in my opinion people who go past the red X should be charged.

If they pass one red X and then pass a second one at speed, as I have seen on the M40, then they should a) have a new one reamed, b) have their licence removed and c) required to take an extended test as they are not fit to hold a licence, in my opinion.

End.
I didn't want to pick anyone out in particular FiF, and to be honest didn't note any names, just that a couple of people had stated the same thing.

DVD on another forum said:
The Matrix sign involved is Diagram 6031 - red cross with corner red flashers and when displayed on a gantry over the carriageway, they shall convey the prohibition that vehicular traffic (other than vehicles being used in the circumstances described in regulation 36(1)(b)Emergency services) proceeding in the traffic lane immediately below the signals shall not proceed beyond them in that lane

Where a matrix sign is placed beside the carriageway of a road the warning, requirement, restriction, prohibition or speed limit conveyed by the sign shall apply to all vehicular traffic facing that sign and proceeding along the carriageway beside which the sign is placed.

Where a matrix sign mounted on a gantry or other structure is so placed that a traffic lane of the carriageway passes directly beneath it, the warning, requirement, restriction, prohibition or speed limit conveyed by the sign shall apply only to vehicular traffic facing that sign and proceeding along the traffic lane passing directly beneath it.

By virtue of Traffic Signs General Directions 2002 it makes it an offence to fail to conform to a Traffic Sign and as such a Notice of Intended Prosecution has to be served within 14 days (ignoring date of offence) on driver or where not kinow the Reg Keeper of the vehicle involved. Mention is made of a Section 172 (name and shame driver) Form being received and NOIP usually accompanies the 172. Once driver ID then there will be a Conditional Offer made i.e. pay £60 and 3 points on Licence and matter dealt with without Court. Or if facts disputed a Court appearance can be elected and matter contested.
It must be very difficult to enforce this law, as I can think of many more reasons for not complying than I can for running a red light. It would be interesting to see how many cases had been contested and thrown out.

F i F

36,150 posts

198 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
No worries if you pick on me Arese, I have broad shoulders. hehe

I reckon it is an easy one to enforce tbh, basically ime you only get these red X where there is a gantry system, and these days those systems increasingly come with variable limits, which again increasingly come with cameras attached. You can see where I'm going with this...

Problem with that approach is the offence will then be a binary one, i.e. either you did or did not pass the red X.

Whereas in reality the most important part of the whole thing is the question of how did you get to be in that position? Electronic enforcement = fail, organic enforcement would (perhaps should) give a pragmatic and fair decision.

Arese

Original Poster:

20,146 posts

134 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
F i F said:
No worries if you pick on me Arese, I have broad shoulders. hehe

I reckon it is an easy one to enforce tbh, basically ime you only get these red X where there is a gantry system, and these days those systems increasingly come with variable limits, which again increasingly come with cameras attached. You can see where I'm going with this...

Problem with that approach is the offence will then be a binary one, i.e. either you did or did not pass the red X.

Whereas in reality the most important part of the whole thing is the question of how did you get to be in that position? Electronic enforcement = fail, organic enforcement would (perhaps should) give a pragmatic and fair decision.
I think this is where it will be difficult to enforce. How many people will receive a NIP through the post for a 'red cross' offence and feel that they have decent mitigating circumstances, compared to just a general red-light offence?

If I join the motorway and proceed to move to lane 3 to complete an overtake, and then suddenly lanes 2 and 3 get 'red crossed' at the next gantry and I can't get into lane 1 because of (a) people being twunts and not letting me in, or (b) genuinely fast-flowing traffic in those lanes making it 'difficult' to manouvre into them, well I'd be extremely disappointed to receive a NIP.

I know it's rare for the above scenario to unfold, as like you say they are usually preceded by warning signs, but in my 'high-mileage' days it did occur occassionaly.

saaby93

25,966 posts

125 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
Arese said:
If I join the motorway and proceed to move to lane 3 to complete an overtake, and then suddenly lanes 2 and 3 get 'red crossed' at the next gantry and I can't get into lane 1 because of (a) people being twunts and not letting me in, or (b) genuinely fast-flowing traffic in those lanes making it 'difficult' to manouvre into them, well I'd be extremely disappointed to receive a NIP.
The whole point of the red X is not that you worry about getting a NIP but that you worry about having some form of collision.
If the only worry is the NIP they're misusing the red X

Arese

Original Poster:

20,146 posts

134 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
saaby93 said:
Arese said:
If I join the motorway and proceed to move to lane 3 to complete an overtake, and then suddenly lanes 2 and 3 get 'red crossed' at the next gantry and I can't get into lane 1 because of (a) people being twunts and not letting me in, or (b) genuinely fast-flowing traffic in those lanes making it 'difficult' to manouvre into them, well I'd be extremely disappointed to receive a NIP.
The whole point of the red X is not that you worry about getting a NIP but that you worry about having some form of collision.
If the only worry is the NIP they're misusing the red X
Let me explain.

My first thought wouldn't be 'st, I might receive a NIP'. My first thought would be 'Ok, I need to get out of this lane' and then I would proceed to try and get to an 'open' lane. Whilst trying to move into said open lane, I would of course be making sure I don't collide with the 'obstruction' that is closing this lane. If I happen to pass under a red X whilst trying to manouvre, I would be disappointed to receive a NIP.

F i F

36,150 posts

198 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
Arese said:
F i F said:
No worries if you pick on me Arese, I have broad shoulders. hehe

I reckon it is an easy one to enforce tbh, basically ime you only get these red X where there is a gantry system, and these days those systems increasingly come with variable limits, which again increasingly come with cameras attached. You can see where I'm going with this...

Problem with that approach is the offence will then be a binary one, i.e. either you did or did not pass the red X.

Whereas in reality the most important part of the whole thing is the question of how did you get to be in that position? Electronic enforcement = fail, organic enforcement would (perhaps should) give a pragmatic and fair decision.
I think this is where it will be difficult to enforce. How many people will receive a NIP through the post for a 'red cross' offence and feel that they have decent mitigating circumstances, compared to just a general red-light offence?

If I join the motorway and proceed to move to lane 3 to complete an overtake, and then suddenly lanes 2 and 3 get 'red crossed' at the next gantry and I can't get into lane 1 because of (a) people being twunts and not letting me in, or (b) genuinely fast-flowing traffic in those lanes making it 'difficult' to manouvre into them, well I'd be extremely disappointed to receive a NIP.

I know it's rare for the above scenario to unfold, as like you say they are usually preceded by warning signs, but in my 'high-mileage' days it did occur occassionaly.
Reasonable mitigating circumstances doesn't stop people getting yellow box fines by camera when the reason they stopped in the box was because their exit route space had been nicked by another person driving like an arse.

In essence I agree with your objections, a law to deal with utter idiots also criminalises people who were never a problem in the first place.

There should be a timer on the camera to avoid the people who have encountered a light / limit imposed right in front of them and they genuinely have no time to deal with it.

On might argue that somebody joining a motorway and going over to L3 to then encounter an already illuminated X at the next gantry needs to lift their vision a bit though. Or?

saaby93

25,966 posts

125 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
Arese said:
My first thought wouldn't be 'st, I might receive a NIP'. My first thought would be 'Ok, I need to get out of this lane' and then I would proceed to try and get to an 'open' lane. Whilst trying to move into said open lane, I would of course be making sure I don't collide with the 'obstruction' that is closing this lane. If I happen to pass under a red X whilst trying to manouvre, I would be disappointed to receive a NIP.
yes

Sgt Bilko

1,840 posts

162 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
Red X's don't just "appear", there is an element of warning. Watch this from 2:33 (or all of it for that matter).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R442N-pX0W4

BonzoG

1,488 posts

161 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
Sgt Bilko said:
Red X's don't just "appear", there is an element of warning.
What if you're between the gantry with the "<¬" and the gantry with the "X" when they light up? If you're right on top of it when it appears, you're kinda stuffed.

7mike

2,670 posts

140 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
BonzoG said:
Sgt Bilko said:
Red X's don't just "appear", there is an element of warning.
What if you're between the gantry with the "<¬" and the gantry with the "X" when they light up? If you're right on top of it when it appears, you're kinda stuffed.
If the one I saw last week was anything to go by, then yes you would be stuffed seeing as the crash filling L3 was less than 100 yards beyond the gantry.


BonzoG

1,488 posts

161 months

Monday 18th October 2010
quotequote all
Which is fair enough, as you'd expect traffic to already be slowing, the blockage to be visible, and all but the car directly underneath the gantry when the lights come on will have time to change lanes. But what about that car directly underneath the gantry? He probably can't even see the X when it's turned on.

What about an incorrect closure or a closure in the wrong location, where traffic is still flowing quite happily? If you're doing 70mph, any less than 100m or so won't really give you enough time to make a safe considered lane change if a red X suddenly appears immediately ahead.