Driving in 'Red X' lanes is illegal and puts others in danger
Hundreds of motorists have been observed disobeying 'Red X' lane signs on CityLink, putting lives at risk.
CityLink Group General Manager - Victoria Elizabeth Mildwater said motorists might not be aware that travelling in a closed lane is potentially dangerous and against the law.
"The red X sign above a lane signifies that the lane is closed and that motorists should not drive in it," she said.
"We use the red X sign to close a lane when there is an incident, to protect the safety of the drivers involved and the response teams attending," she said.
The M1 freeway upgrade works, which commenced in 2007 and are now largely complete, included a widening of the southern section of CityLink, by turning the emergency lanes into running lanes and installing Lane Use Management Signs, such as the 'Red X' ones.
Ms Mildwater said the electronic freeway management system, which allows emergency lanes to be created instantly with the click of a button, helps manage and monitor traffic flow and assists in responding to incidents.
"We take the step of closing a lane seriously, so we need people to treat it the same way," she said.
"When a lane is closed, it is because there are people in it who are at risk and if you drive in the closed lane, you place those people in danger.
"Our monitoring systems detect drivers who disobey the Red X signs. We've just sent out the first batch of letters reminding drivers who have disobeyed the signs of their obligations under the Road Safety Road Rules," she said.
It is an offence under regulation 152 of the Road Safety Rules 2009 to disobey the overhead lane control devices, with a potential fine (currently) of $1,194.50 from Civic Compliance Victoria.
Ms Mildwater said it's for all these reasons that motorists are encouraged to obey the overhead signs and realise that they're not optional.