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Eclipse Gawkers Stop Along Bay Area Freeway; CHP Dumbfounded

LAFAYETTE (CBS SF) -- An overwhelming urge to stop what you're doing and look at the eclipse Monday extended to drivers on at least one Bay Area freeways, creating some unsafe conditions, according to the California Highway Patrol.

eclipse watchers hwy 24
Cars are stopped along eastbound Highway 24 in Lafayette as drivers stop to look at the eclipse. (CHP)

The CHP Contra Costa Facebook page posted an image showing dozens upon dozens of cars stopped both on the shoulder and the center median of state Highway 24 in Lafayette, with drivers outside their vehicles trying to catch a glimpse of the eclipse.

CHP spokesman Officer Brandon Correia told CBS San Francisco a CHP officer came up upon a car that had stopped along eastbound 24 just before the Interstate 680 junction because a car had pulled over. It was about 10:30 a.m. during the partial eclipse over the Bay Area.

As soon as he pulled over to offer assistance, the officer saw to his astonishment dozens of other cars also pull over and stop on the freeway, Correia said.

But handing out tickets was not an option with the surprising crush of stopped cars.

"It was completely unexpected," said Correia. "There were so many vehicles stopped, the officer was unable to take any real enforcement action."

Instead, the officer took a photo and tried to make light of the situation, while urging people to move on stay safe.

"He gave umpteenth warnings against knucklehead maneuvers," said Correia. "I mean, c'mon man. That's just ridiculous."

There were no collisions reported because of drivers-turned-eclipse gawkers, and no one was injured, Correia said.


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