Some 103 drivers have been fined by the gendarmerie for having slowed down on the A7 motorway in south-east France to film a lorry which had caught fire after colliding with another HGV.
The crash took place on Wednesday (July 13) around Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux in Drôme (Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes). This brought traffic to a standstill on the lorry’s side of the road, but also in the other direction, as dozens of drivers slowed down to capture the scene.
16h25 : sur #A7 dir. Lyon après la sortie n°19 Bollène, circulation toujours interrompue. Intervention des pompiers en cours suite à #Accident impliquant 1 camion en feu. Restez informés sur @Radio1077 #InfoTrafic https://t.co/rXQGF2ov83 pic.twitter.com/yuhqfHRluA— Autoroute A7 (@A7Trafic) July 13, 2022
This created a 30-kilometre-long tailback of holidaymakers heading for the Côte d’Azur.
“People were slowing down deliberately to be able to film. Some drivers nearly went into the back of [the vehicle in front],” a local gendarme told France Bleu.
“We must remind you that while you drive, you look at the road [ahead].”
It was this morbid curiosity that led the gendarmerie to hand out 103 fines over the course of the afternoon for Code de la route breaches, a number which it described as “unbelievable”.
Using your phone while driving can result in a €135 fine and three points being removed from your licence.
Around 70 firefighters worked for five hours to clear the road and get traffic moving again on the northbound carriageway.