Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

Summary: A recommended ban on all mobile devices while driving has sparked controversy, but many Americans actually support the idea, according to new research.

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Last week, the National Transportation and Safety Board proposed a national ban on all cell phone usage by drivers. That means no texting or phone calls -- even with hands-free devices -- at all times while driving, except for in emergency situations.

The recommendation has sparked debate and controversy, but a new poll suggests that more Americans might be in favor of such a drastic measure than we would assume. Poll Position reports that Americans support the NTSB's recommendation by a 49 percent to 44 percent margin.

When results are broken down by age, those aged 65 and older most favor the suggested ban, with 60 percent supporting it and 33 percent opposed. However, most other age groups were nearly divided with close results in favor and opposition.

The only age group that had a majority in opposition of the ban were those between the ages of 30 to 44, with 50.2 percent who opposed. Yet 46.8 percent of 18 to 29-year-olds favored the ban while 41.4 percent opposed it. (Approximately 11.7 percent abstained.)

Opinions on the proposed safety measure also didn't vary much by political affiliation. Democrats supported the ban the most at 55 percent, followed by Republicans at 50 percent, and Independents at 48 percent.

The survey, conducted by telephone on December 15, is based on responses from 1,133 registered voters nationwide.

How do you feel about a nationwide ban on drivers using cell phones, even with hands-free devices?

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Topics: Mobility, Hardware, Telcos

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29 comments
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  • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

    But what about billable minutes? Whole law firms would go under with a ban. Oh, wait...
    Bill4
  • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

    No to sound too harsh, but whenever I see somebody texting or answering a call while driving I feel like slapping them silly. I have been in numerous close-call situations where people that were driving and on their cell phones had no idea what they were doing, or that they were doing something wrong. In the past people lived fine without texting or calling someone every 3 minutes. Why is it so hard?
    statuskwo5
  • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

    I must admit to having one non-insurance claim "accident" while trying to use a cell phone while driving.

    It was at a red light and I was fooling around with a cell phone and somehow did not keep my foot fully on the brake.

    I was surprised (to say the least) when my car bumped the car ahead of me. No material damage was done, thank goodness.) But that accident would have been completely avoidable had I kept my eyes focused ahead rather than at my cell phone.

    I have been and continue to be a good driver with an excellent driving record to date but I understand the importance of keeping your eyes and senses focused while driving.

    I believe a ban on cell phone use is a bit harsh (but understandable) but I would favor a total ban against texting by drivers of the vehicle. Texting, IMO, requires too much time away from the act of driving safely.
    kenosha77a
  • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

    Driving while using a cell phone, handsfree or not, has been studied, and the results show that it is in fact more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. I do not use my cell when driving, if someone calls me while I am on the road, I pull over and take the call, if it is important, if not I call them back later.
    Snooki_smoosh_smoosh
    • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

      @Snooki_smoosh_smoosh <br><br>As Australians are always in the future (usually about 18 hours), we've been there and done that. Only hands-free is still legal and that may go to. Of course, the studies you refer to would indicate the same problem with radio and music as with handsfree. Let's hope 50 years in the future people will look at old videos of cars on freeways and shudder that we actually let people manually control them. Time for the smart car, as humans will always make a dumb choice occasionally.<br>.
      tonymcs@...
  • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

    Just another excuse for the government to interfere in our daily lives
    kingcobra23
    • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

      @kingcobra23 I would prefer a ban on male drivers in elderly pickups. Still, I think you are right about government interference. It all began with the mandated seat belt law, and now big government has its nose into every aspect of our daily lives. The Cure: Vote Out Incumbents!
      nikacat
  • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

    I aways love stories like this since you could easly say that nearly half of Americans opposes this bill too.
    Shmythey
  • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

    As as bicyclist, I most definitely favor a ban on drivers using cell phones ... while driving. Better to safely pull out of traffic, stop the vehicle and make the call.
    Rabid Howler Monkey
    • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

      @Rabid Howler Monkey - While we're at it, maybe you cyclists could occasionally stop of stop signs and red lights? Perhaps you could stop getting angry at me when I don't see you at night when you're wearing a black jacket. A police officer I know told me that every single bicycle/auto accident he ever had to respond to was the fault of the cyclist - ignoring traffic laws.
      djlong
      • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

        @djlong
        That same cop friend would have probably put me at fault also when I was hit in on a bike path because the driver didn't look before turning.
        Test Subject
      • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

        @djlong
        Allthoses things will get HIM killed. YOU texting/cellphoneing/and above mentioned call can wipe out an entire family. But lets not fret over the little detailse hu?
        Stan57
      • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

        @djlong I want them to ride on the correct side of the road.
        jgm@...
  • It's completely crazy what people do in their cars

    There should be more offenses with penalties similar to DUI and using a cell phone should be one of them.
    GoPower
  • I agree with banning non-hands free devices

    That includes texting and calling without hands-free contraptions and using non-mounted GPS devices. But I have yet to see a decent argument against the use of hands free devices, as long as the user knows how to use them properly.

    I would be in favor of needing a special license classification in order to use these hands free devices to prove you know how to use them properly.
    Michael Kelly
    • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

      @Michael Kelly Actually, all the studies show that cell phone related accidents don't go down if using a handsfree model.
      Aerowind
      • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

        @Aerowind - the statistics also show that cell phone usage is increasing yet traffic accident rates are going down. All the while, drunk driving is still reponsible for some HALF the deaths on the roads.
        djlong
    • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

      @Michael Kelly I've seen a decent argument against cell phones, radios and PASSENGERS. There was a study about people not being able to react as quickly when processing human voices while in a driving simulator, and one radio host had the brains to ask the researcher if this also applied to talk radio as well as cell phones. The researcher told him yes, it did. That means that cell phone conversations are just as distracting, hands free or not, and so is listening to talk radio, and so is having a conversation with your passenger. No one talks about any of those distractions, just the cell phones.
      jgm@...
  • RE: Nearly half of Americans favor ban on drivers using cell phones: poll

    I propose a law banning distracted driving, not just related to cellular devices. You shouldn't be drinking a coffee, eating a burger, or doing anything that takes your attention away from the road. Yes, that includes leaning back to try and pick up your toddler's toy that has fallen on the floor so they stop crying. Pull over to the side of the road if it is that important. Focusing on cellular products is picking on the technology, not fixing the problem.
    Ididar
    • That law already exists in Oklahoma.

      @Ididar

      Based on several list that I have found, the number one cause of accidents based on distractions, is eating and drinking while driving. Among others, playing with the car's console controls (cd, tapes a/c, heat, etc...) shaving, make-up, etc... If they ban all the other distractions, then I will stop using my cell. Otherwise, this will be one law I will disobey.
      linux for me