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36% Support Complete Ban on Cell Phone Use While Driving

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.

(Want a free daily e-mail update? If it's in the news, it's in our polls).  Rasmussen Reports updates are also available on Twitter or Facebook.

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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