A FIFTH of people dying on the North-East's roads involve a speeding driver according to a road safety group.

The statistics were calculated over a five-year period by Road Safety GB North East, who said 21 percent of fatal collisions, involved people driving at 'excessive speed.'

Between 2014 and 2018, the group also said out of 31,801 casualties, which include deaths, more than 2,300 instances involved a speeding vehicle, or a vehicle travelling too fast for the road conditions.

Paul Watson chairman of Road Safety GB North East said: “During the last five years, 58 people died on North East roads where a speeding vehicle was involved, which is quite a shocking figure really.

“We will never know whether those people would have lived if everyone on the roads had stuck to the limit or drove according to the conditions, but there is a chance that they might have.

“Speed limits are there for a reason, so we urge people to drive within them and to reduce their speed further in poor weather and road conditions.

“Driving at higher speed means you have less time to spot something and then react to what is around you, and you need longer to brake.

"What could have been a near miss becomes a nasty smash.”

Mr Watson said adhering to speed limits in areas classed as 20mph was vitally important, as speed limits of this type were imposed on roads where school children are likely to cross without warning.

Barry Coppinger Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner said: “It’s disappointing that people continue to drive with excess speed, despite being aware of the danger they pose to other road-users and pedestrians.

"Sticking to the speed limit will give you more time to react to the situations around you and help you stay safe on the region’s roads." County Durham was classed as the 'worst' area for driver-related fatalities.