PEDESTRIANS using mobile phones and listening to music on headphones are putting themselves at risk in Newcastle.
The claim was made as Newcastle City Council examines a series of measures after 19 accidents involving pedestrians being hit by buses in the city centre in the last two years.
The council is looking at new lighting and road markings in a bid to address the issue.
Labour council leader, Coun Nick Forbes, said a public safety campaign was particularly important.
Mr Forbes said: “One of the things the bus companies were telling me was that the number of people involved in accidents who were wearing headphones, or listening to music or texting, was quite remarkable.
“It’s really important that people do take care, and pay attention to their surroundings.”
The main areas of concern are around Newgate Street, Bigg Market, Blackett Street, Grainger Street, Market Street and Pilgrim Street.
Alan Kennedy, from the charity Road Safety GB, supported Coun Forbes. He said that, statistically, pedestrians failing to look was the main factor in them being hit by vehicles.
“We certainly need many more publicity campaigns to raise awareness and get everyone who uses the roads to take more responsibility,” he added.
One pedestrian, who did not want to be named, described being hit by a bus in the city centre.
She said: “I flew 30ft from the point of contact. I smashed the windscreen so I had to have six staples in my head, but then when I hit the ground I fractured my skull.
“For that day and two weeks afterwards, I have no memory. I was in intensive care for three days and in a coma.”