‘Irresponsible’ – 1,300 Sunderland drivers caught using their mobile phone

STAY SAFE: Don't use a handheld mobile phone while driving
STAY SAFE: Don't use a handheld mobile phone while driving
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MORE than 1,300 motorists in Sunderland have points on their licence for driving while using their mobile phone.

Road safety charity Brake today revealed that 1,340 drivers have been hauled before the courts for the offence in the city. In Durham, 2,117 drivers have points.

The shocking statistic comes as the charity launches a campaign as part of Road Safety Week, urging drivers to not use their mobiles.

Campaign organisers want motorists to turn off their phones or put them in the boot, and urges everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who’s driving.

It’s being launched almost a decade after hand-held mobiles at the wheel were banned.

More than 20,000 drivers from the North East and Cumbria have points on their licence for using their mobile phone at the wheel or being otherwise distracted.

Half of schoolchildren from across the region say they have been in a car driven by someone talking on a phone, and three in four have spotted drivers on mobile phones outside their school or home. New research by distraction experts say talking on hands-free is just as risky because it’s concentrating on the conversation that’s the main distraction.

The tune in to road safety campaign is being launched with demonstrations in schools, universities and towns across the UK highlighting the dangers of taking your eyes, hands or mind off the road.

The regional campaign is being backed by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service as well as Northumbria Police.