A 95-year-man surrendered his licence after driving the wrong way down a major road for nearly five miles.
Police said they received more than 20 emergency calls as the man headed north on the southbound A12 near Mountnessing, Essex, late on Thursday.
Officers blocked slip roads to stop traffic getting on to the carriageway then stopped the pensioner, from Colchester, Essex, when he turned off the road, said a police spokesman.
"We visited the man the following day when he surrendered his driving licence," said the spokesman.
"Luckily no-one was injured."