Dramatic footage of van driver crashing into National Highways vehicle to evade M6 closure

Dramatic video footage has been released showing the moment a driver crashed into a patrol vehicle to evade a temporary road closure on the M6 ​​in North Staffordshire. It was captured by a National Highways traffic officer vehicle near Keele in April 2020.

The video shows an increasing patrol irate driver tailgating the vehicle, which was slowly bringing traffic to a standstill so that teams could fix a pothole further along the road. The van driver can be seen gesticulating to the traffic officer’s vehicle to move out of the way so he can drive past.

With traffic slowly coming to a stop, the van driver attempted to swerve past the vehicle before coliding with it and speeding on ahead. Following an appearance at North Staffordshire Justice Centre, the driver was disqualified from driving for a year, received a 12-month community order, a 19-day rehabilitation activity requirement and must complete 200 hours of unpaid work.

READ MORE: Driver taken to Royal Stoke after four-vehicle smash in Fenton

Compensation of £833 and court costs of £425 must also be paid. National Highways on-road Service delivery manager, Matthew Burns, said: “Fortunately, in this incident, no-one was injured but it could have ended very differently. Our roads keep the country moving, keep families connected and businesses in business, so our roadworkers are vital to everyone’s wellbeing, and their wellbeing is vital to us.

“It is important that in doing their job, they can do so in an environment that is safe and that they are able to do so without some of the abusive behaviors they face every day.

The van driver growing increasingly frustrated with the National Highways patrol vehicle which was slowly bringing traffic to a stop

“We don’t take the decision to close lanes lightly, but when we do, drivers must obey the closure and follow the signs set by the traffic officer. Thankfully, the vast majority of drivers do comply with these signals but those who don’t. ‘t put themselves and others at risk.”

National Highways is also raising awareness of the importance of obeying the Red X and the dangers posed by those who ignore the signals. As well as the Red X signals, reduced speed limits are used to give drivers more time to see the signs and move into an open lane.

In June 2019 there was a change in legislation which meant cameras can now automatically detect vehicles that ignore a Red X so the police can take enforcement action. It has been an defense for more than two decades to drive in a lane closed by a Red X and can result in a fixed penalty of up to £100 and three points or, in some cases, more severe penalties or a court appearance.

In April 2021, National Highways committed to hasten the upgrade of enforcement cameras regarding the automatic detection of Red X offences. This means by the end of September this year it will have upgraded all enforcement cameras to automatically detect passing vehicles invisible under a Red X or entering the lane beyond a Red X.

This is 10 months earlier than previously planned. The Red X signals are one of a raft of measures to help keep people safe if they break down on motorways.

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