A DISTRACTED driver who was caught watching television on his mobile phone while driving on the A12 showed an "unacceptable disregard" for road safety.

Srinivas Chavakula, 47, was stopped by police on the northbound carriageway of the A12, at Kelvedon, following concerns about the manner of his driving.

The officer found he had been watching television on his mobile phone.

The phone had been propped up on the speedometer while Chavakula cruised along the motorway.

He was arrested and charged with careless driving.

Appearing at Colchester Magistrates' Court Chavakula admitted the charge and was hit with a hefty fine.

He was ordered to pay £633, alongside £180 in costs and a victim surcharge.

Magistrates endorsed his driving licence with five penalty points.

Following the conviction, investigating officer PC Mike Jelley said Chavakula, of Ipswich Road, Colchester, could have caused a serious crash.

"The actions of this driver were irresponsible and not only put himself in danger, but other road users too," he said.

"His disregard for road safety was unacceptable and could have resulted in a much more serious outcome.

"Thankfully we were able stop him before he seriously hurt himself or someone else."