Chatham-Kent OPP are warning drivers not to cross the centre median to avoid traffic backups on Highway 401.

The latest reminder comes after a crash between three transport trucks on Tuesday around 7:15 a.m. on Highway 401 near Merlin Road.   

During this collision, OPP issued a careless driving charge to a motorist who drove through the centre median. 

With the highway closed, there was a long line of vehicles stopping and being forced to wait while the lanes are being cleared.

Police say emergency crews will generally do everything they can to at least get one lane or shoulder passable to traffic immediately, but sometimes this is just not possible.

Sometimes, if it is determined that the highway will be closed for an extended period of time, the highway will be closed at or prior to the previous exit and traffic will be redirected at that point.

Police say they will then, starting at the rear of the jam, direct people to reverse one at a time, or turn around completely and drive the wrong way, on the now closed highway, to get back to the previous exit.

Officers say if they think they can clear it within an hour or so, traffic will be made to wait, as it is more efficient and time effective to just clear the lanes, than spend manpower and effort to clear the traffic.  

OPP are urging drivers not to move until they have been directed by police. Drivers could get stuck in the center median or cause a collision by using the "authorized use only' crossover.  

This will result in police having to divert resources from the initial collision scene and shutting the highway down longer to clean up two separate scenes.