UK Motorways See Almost 18,000 Serious Offences Committed Over Last 5 Years

Last Updated: 04/08/2021

An investigation into the range of activities on the United Kingdom motorways that run counter to the law shows that pedestrians and drivers have broken the law almost 18,000 times since 2016, putting many lives at risk, including their own!

The main illegal activity was stopping on the motorway, which was done more than 6,000 times during the same period.

U-turns on motorways, driving the wrong way on a slip road, and in some cases driving the wrong way on a live lane are just some of the illegal manoeuvres that are carried out on the country’s motorways each year.

The Motorways Traffic (England and Wales) Regulations 1982 sets out what you cannot do on a motorway.

For example, these laws make it illegal for anyone to walk on a motorway. They also make it clear where it is permissible for drive.

All motorway services remind users that a stop at the services area is a temporary cease from the regulations until they drive back onto the motorway. Service areas display notices stating ‘End of Motorway Regulations’.

The most common offence is stopping on a hard shoulder when it is not absolutely necessary. More than 6,000 tickets have been issued by officers since 2016 for this offence.

In addition almost 1,000 people were caught stopping on central reservations or on verges along the motorway.

Driving along closed motorway lanes is known as a ‘Red X’ offence and since tickets started to be issued for this offence in 2019, thousands have been issued.

Serious Offences Breakdown:

  • Illegal Stopping On Hard Shoulder: 6,821
  • Driving On Hard Shoulder: 2,645
  • Driving Vehicle Other Than Motorway Carriageway: 948
  • Stopping On Central Reservation: 837
  • Learner Driver On Motorway*: 514
  • Pedestrian On Motorway: 469
  • Stopping In Live Lane: 304
  • Reversing On Motorway: 270
  • Driving Wrong Way On Slip Road: 204
  • Driving Wrong Way On Motorway: 165
  • U-Turn On Motorway: 82

*Learners are not allowed to drive on a motorway unless they are accompanied by an approved driving instructor.