Itasca, IL – Two years after the National Safety Council called for a nationwide ban on cell phone use while driving, a survey by Connecticut- based Quinnipiac University found that nearly two-thirds of voters nationwide support such a ban. Half of the 2,424 voters who responded to the survey also said they believed such a ban would increase highway safety “a great deal,” according to survey results.
Only eight states have handheld cell phone use bans, and no state completely bans the use of cell phones while driving, despite the devices being a factor in about 1.3 million crashes each year. Texting while driving is prohibited in 30 states, but cell phone conversations are involved in 12 times as many crashes as texting, indicating that conversations are the larger problem. Research finds hands-free devices offer drivers no safety benefit.
“The public is fed up with their safety being jeopardized because of phone calls,” said David Teater, senior director of Transportation Initiatives for NSC. “It is our hope that elected officials realize the strong public support for laws, and that they are quickly passed to protect motorists and others on our roadways.”
Pilot enforcement programs in Hartford, Conn. and Syracuse, NY., conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, indicate enforcement of cell phone bans is possible. The year-long campaigns in each area found cell phone use while driving dropped by more than half in Hartford and by about one-third in Syracuse due to increased law enforcement efforts. The National Safety Council (www.nsc.org) saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.