Using a hands-free kit in the car can be almost as distracting as talking on a mobile phone, according to research by Newcastle University.
It's been illegal to drive whilst talking on your phone for almost a decade, but a road safety charity has found thousands of drivers in the region have been caught. Now they're calling for an outright ban, as Katie Oakes reports.
More top news
It's been confirmed that the Marks and Spencer stores in both Stockton and Darlington will close in August.
It's part of the investigation into the disappearance of Donna Keogh from Middlesbrough in 1998 when she was just 17 years old.
The move is likely to lead to the loss of more than 1,500 jobs.