Support for Initiatives

The study measured support for five potential initiatives to curtail cell phone use while driving. A majority of all drivers would support each of the five actions, and even a majority of those who use cell phones while driving support several of the initiatives. The greatest support is for increasing public awareness of the risks of wireless phone use while driving, with 88% supporting this initiative and just 12% saying they would oppose it. [Figure 12-A] Support is equally strong among in-car cell phone users and non-users. [Figure 12-D]

Strong support is also reported for a restriction on using hand-held phones while driving, allowing hands-free models only (71%), and for insurance penalties for drivers involved in a crash while using a wireless phone (67%).

While about six in ten drivers would support a ban on all wireless phone use while driving (57%), or double or triple fines for traffic violations involving cell phone use (61%), support for these last two initiatives is lower among drivers overall and generally not supported by those who currently use cell phones.

By Gender

While female drivers are less likely to use a cell phone while driving, they are more likely than males to support all five of the measured potential initiatives to reduce cell phone use while driving. Female drivers are especially more likely to support a ban on all wireless phone use (61% compared to 52%) and higher fines for traffic violations where a cell phone was involved (65% compared to 57%). [Figure 12-B]

By Age

Support for a ban on all cell phone use while driving and insurance penalties for being involved in a crash while using a cell phone increases significantly with age of the driver. Drivers under age 30 are also much less likely than drivers over 30 to support double or triple fines for traffic violations when a cell phone is involved (46% compared to about 66% of older drivers). There is not a substantial difference by age in support for increased public awareness or restrictions to using hands-free models only. [Figure 12-C]

By Cell Phone Use

While drivers who use cell phones while driving are equally likely to support public awareness initiatives as non-users, and a majority would support a hands-free restriction, only about 25% would support a total ban on cell phone use while driving (as compared to 69% of those who do not talk on phones while driving). Cell phone users are also significantly less likely than non-users to support monetary fines (about 40% do compared to 70% of non-users) and insurance penalties (about 49% do as compared to 75%). [Figure 12-D]