Drivers stop to pick up face masks spilled on highway trigger traffic jam

Traffic on a California highway came to a brief halt after drivers stopped to pick up hundreds of face masks littering the road. Masks have become prized commodity during the coronavirus pandemic, with many governments making it compulsory to wear one while stepping out in a bid to contain the spread of the highly infectious disease.

There are conflicting reports on how the face masks ended up on the highway. KTVU News reports that they may have accidentally spilled from a man’s truck. According to CBS News, however, a man was spotted throwing boxes of the masks from a white truck onto the road. Authorities have not confirmed how the masks ended up on the highway.

Photos shared by California Highway Patrol on social media show hundreds of blue medical masks littering the southbound lanes of Interstate 880.

“Multiple individuals stopped in lanes and stepped out of their vehicles to pick up masks,” wrote California Highway Patrol – Hayward, while sharing the pics on Facebook. They also reminded drivers that it is not safe to exit vehicles on an active freeway.

Traffic was stopped briefly after the incident to allow a road sweeper to pick up the masks. The cleanup took an hour to complete.

Last year, an armoured truck’s door came open on a highway in Georgia, USA, spilling cash across the road and leading to drivers halting their cars to grab the money.