Man convicted for ignoring red X on M62

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A motorist has been convicted for ignoring the red ‘X’ on the M62, putting firefighters who were heading to an emergency at risk.

The Dewsbury man, who has not been named by police, disregarded signs when West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Highways Agency were heading to a vehicle fire on the westbound carriageway near Hartshead Moor.

Lanes one, two and three were all closed, with lane four remaining open for traffic, and signs were set on the gantries prior to the scene.

But Leeds Magistrates’ Court heard the man, 38, disregarded the signs and was convicted in his absence for ignoring a red X just before 9am on November 2 last year.

PC Nigel Fawcett-Jones, from the Safer Roads and Neighbourhoods Policing Team (West), said: “With the increase in managed and smart motorways across the region it is important that drivers recognise that the signs displayed on the carriageway are there for the safety of all road users.

“This includes members of the public who may have broken down in a live lane or, as in this occasion, the emergency services dealing with an ongoing incident.

“To drive beyond the red ‘X’ places members of the public or those dealing with an incident in real danger.”

The man was convicted in his absence and will return to Leeds Magistrates’ Court for sentencing at a later date.