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36% Support Complete Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Last week the National Transportation Safety Board called for a federal ban on all cellular phone use while driving, including hands-free devices.  More than one-third of Americans favor such a ban, but most think hands-free devices should still be allowed.

The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of American Adults shows that 36% believe there should be a complete ban on cell phone use by drivers. Sixty-one percent (61%) believe drivers should be allowed to use hands-free devices. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Support for a complete ban on drivers using cell phones is up six points from November of last year.  However, 39% supported such a ban in July 2009, while only 50% supported allowing hands-free devices. 

But most Americans think laws on cell phones and driving should be left to the states. Just 36% favor the federal government banning cell phone use while driving anywhere in the country. Sixty-one percent (61%) believe each individual state should set its own rules.

Sixty-four percent (64%) of Republicans and 71% of those not affiliated with either of the major political parties see a cell phone ban as a state issue, while Democrats are almost evenly divided on the question.  

Fifty percent (50%) of Americans already think the federal government has too much influence over states, and 54% of Likely U.S. Voters say states should be able to opt out of federal programs that they don't agree with.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults nationwide was conducted on December 15-16, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

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