A lane is designed to be used by a line of vehicles and any action contrary to this is considered illegal and punishable by law.
Some roads can have up to 4 lanes while others have more or less, the purpose of lanes on road is to maintain order and prevent traffic and collision of vehicles etc.
On some roads, there are signs usually positioned above, visible to all that indicate when to stop a car, get ready to move, and when to move. Alongside all these signs is the Red X sign that comes on when a lane is closed.
Therefore, the question is, when can you drive in a lane with a red X above it?
You are only allowed to drive in a lane with a red X above it if you are already driving on it before the sign changes to red. Also, if you are part of the emergency crew or traffic officers attending to the problem that prompted the red X sign, you can drive on the lane.
What is the Meaning of a Red X Above a Lane?
A red X above a lane is a safety measure on motorways, it’s usually a sign on smart motorways to road users that the lane is closed.
Red X could be placed on a lane if road workers are doing some work on the lane or because of a vehicle that has broken down and undergoing repairs.
Red X is usually displayed on a lane-use control signal above the affected lane and is controlled from a remote area within the state.
A lane use control signal is a type of traffic light that is used to control traffic flow and direction in various lanes. These lane control signals are found on motorways with reversible lanes, parking garages, etc.
Often times when a red X is seen on the road it is usually set far enough from the site of work or repairs, this is done in order to ensure that other vehicles can make a turn for another lane in time.
A red X on a lane is simply saying ‘do not use this lane, it is closed’. Using a closed lane is considered illegal, if you are caught you risk getting penalized and in other cases a court appearance. The police have the responsibility of enforcing Red X offenses.
Can You Drive in a Lane with a Red X Above it?
No, you cannot drive in a lane with a Red X above it. The Red X sign is in place for a reason, ignoring it can lead to more problems such as; a collision with a vehicle that is broken down, emergency crew, road worker, etc.
You may also be misleading other road users that don’t understand what the sign means.
It is not uncommon to see drivers going on a lane with a Red X, this could be as a result of ignorance, being misled by other drivers going that way.
What this will result in is traffic on that lane because there will be no way forward once you get to the front. The best way to avoid this is to change lanes at the earliest possibility once you realize your mistake.
Playing your part as a driver by following the sign will give the emergency crew and traffic officers enough time to do their work and reopen the lane as soon as possible.
When Can You Drive in a Lane with a Red X Above It?
For those preparing a DMV written driving test, the answer to when you can drive in a lane with a red X above it is None. The Red X means you should take another lane, this lane isn’t open for now.
However, despite the fact that the sign indicates you cannot drive in a lane with a Red X above it, if you are part of the emergency crew or traffic officers attending to the issue while the red was closed, then you can drive through it.
This set of people are allowed to drive through but just to the point, the work is being done. Also, if you get lucky and the sign changes to ‘green’ before you change lanes you can continue your journey on that lane.
Are There Consequences for Driving in a Lane with X Above it?
Some violations can be overlooked and pardoned but not that of driving in a lane with X above it. If you violate the Red X above a line and drive in that lane, you are sure to face the consequences.
The police are charged with the responsibility of catching offenders but in other cases, there are cameras in place that can detect them. We will take a look at some consequences of driving in a lane with a Red X above it. They are:
Payment of Fine
One of the consequences of driving in a lane with a Red X above it is the payment of a fine. The fine to be paid depends on your state of residence and its regulations.
Irrespective of whether you are ignorant of the meaning of the Red X or not you stand a chance of getting penalized if you default.
You can get some penalty points on your license if you get caught on the camera or by the police. Penalty points on your license are something you do not want to have especially if it is more than 3.
Getting a warning letter may depend on the traffic officer or policeman that caught you. Due to pleading guilty or claiming to be ignorant of what the sign means an offender can get away with just a warning letter.
Appearance in a court for driving in a lane with a Red X may be a consequence in extreme cases such as the case of a repeat offender.
All these consequences and more can be avoided if you will just follow the signs above the lane.
It is better to follow the sign and change lanes rather than violate the law with the aim of seeing if you will get caught or not, some people can be petty like that. You never can tell what you will be getting as punishment.
In the long run, you may even realize that the alternate lane is better than the one you were on before. The Red X comes up to tell drivers that for some reason this lane should not be passed.
Unfortunately, not everyone driving a car understands what some of these signs mean and can violate them. Driving on a lane with a Red X above is illegal and can result in actions being taken against the offenders