Traffic was halted on the M62 near Leeds last night after children were spotted running in front of vehicles on the motorway.
Highways England said traffic had been held in both directions between Gildersome (junction 27) and Tingley (junction 28) for around 15 minutes.
Shortly after 8pm, it tweeted that children had been seen on the carriageway.
It said: "Our control room have just witnessed them running over all the lanes in front of traffic.
"We are controlling the traffic to get them to safety."
Traffic was released once the children had left the motorway network, but the control room was said to be continuing to monitor the area.
In a further tweet, Highways England said: "Years ago your mum used to tell you 'go play on the motorway'. It was never a wise saying. We hope kids stay on the real playground."