Police have launched an investigation after a video showing a driver moving cones to escape traffic went viral.
Essex Police described the actions of the motorist on the A12 as “illegal”.
The footage appears to show a female driver in a lane of standstill traffic next to a line of cones.
A highways worker then appears on the scene, ordering her to reverse.
The incident is believed to have taken place at around 1.30pm on Tuesday.
Traffic was not moving due to a crash further up the carriageway.
“Areas that are coned off are for the safety of all road users and the roadworkers.
“Anyone who disregards them is potentially putting themselves and others at risk.
“We are working with National Highways to investigate this report.”
Simon Amor, National Highways head of scheme delivery, said: “Traffic management measures are there for the safety of the public and our workers.
“Moving them and driving through marked off areas is an offence, a breach of the Highway Code and highly irresponsible.
“Safety is an absolute priority for National Highways. We want everyone to get home safe and well, and that goes for our workers too.”