Police have warned youths throwing missiles at fast moving traffic on one of the North-East's busiest roads that they are endangering lives and risking prison.

Northumbria Police, together with the Highways Agency, have put signs on each foot and road bridge on the Western Bypass within Newcastle North Area Command.

Fourteen bridges have signs warning of the serious injuries or even death which can result from items being thrown from bridges, as well as warning of convictions they face if caught.

Sergeant Nick Gilks, incident manager at Newcastle North's crime and disorder unit, said: "We are not only looking at public safety but also looking to protect those throwing the items.

"Once a missile leaves their hands they are potentially buying themselves a prison sentence. It might seem like a good game, but it could end with a death or serious injury.

"Even items which seem perfectly innocent, like a snowball, can cause horrific accidents."

Putting cages over the top of some of the bridges had been considered, he said.