Gary Neville in hand-held phone ‘own goal’

Gary Neville in hand-held phone ‘own goal’
“Disappointing” pictures have emerged of TV pundit and former football great Gary Neville using his mobile phone behind the wheel.

The ex-England and Manchester United defender has been accused by the RAC of scoring the ultimate “own goal” after images taken by a driver on the M60 in Greater Manchester were handed to the press.

The photographs come in the wake of the Government doubling the penalty for illegal hand-held mobile phone use to six points and a £200 fine.

READ MORE: Pharrell Williams denounces texting drivers

The RAC is encouraging motorists to make an online promise to never use a handheld phone at the wheel. Drivers can share their pledge on social media, and help spread the message that using a handheld phone while driving is simply “unacceptable.”

Neville, who had a brief recent stint as head coach of Valencia, was snapped on his phone on the motorway near Worsley, driving his Bentley SUV.

Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, told the Mirror: “This is an own goal from Gary Neville which is made all the more disappointing as he is someone who is seen as both a role model and a national hero.“The fact it comes within a few days of the penalties for the offence doubling makes it even worse.”

Figures show that 22 people were killed and 99 seriously injured in accidents involving drivers on their mobile phones in 2015.

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Neville has been spotted at least three times before in similar circumstances. Last November he was seen talking on his phone while driving away from the Hotel Football venue he co-owns in Manchester.

 He has also been captured texting while in control of his vehicle leaving United’s Carrington training ground in 2009, and talking on his phone again later that year.

The Sun reports that the driver who took the latest picture commented: “I couldn't believe it was him and he was just chatting away. He gave me a really dirty look back as if it was my fault.

“I thought it was incredibly arrogant and rude. Just because he was a famous footballer and drives a posh car doesn't mean he can break the law.”

Copyright Press Association 2017. Motoring News articles do not reflect the RAC's views unless clearly stated.