October 23, 2002 - Ban Hand-Held Phones In Cars, Jersey Voters Say 8-1, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Even Cell Phone Users Back 'Hands-Free' Requirement
By an 85 - 12 percent margin, New Jersey registered voters support a proposal requiring hands-free use of cell phones while driving, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

Polls by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pee-ack) University in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have found consistently high levels of support for such measures.

In New Jersey, 65 percent of voters say they own a cell phone and even these cell phone owners support the "hands free" measure 82 - 16 percent. Among cell phone owners:
  • 24 percent say they "very often" use a cell phone while driving;
  • 25 percent say "sometimes;"
  • 29 percent say "rarely;"
  • 22 percent say "never."
"Overwhelmingly New Jersey voters want drivers to hang up their cell phones. Rarely do you see such lop-sided support for a piece of new legislation. Even 73 percent of those drivers who say they very often use their cell phones on the road say the practice should be made illegal," said Clay F. Richards, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

"With almost half of cell phone owners saying that they now use their phones sometimes or very often while driving, the new law, if passed, could make driving in New Jersey safer," Richards added.

From October 16 - 20, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,002 New Jersey registered voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.

The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and nationally as a public service and for research.

For additional data -- www.quinnipiac.edu and quicklinks.
12. Do you own a cell phone?

                   REGISTERED VOTERS ...........................................
                          Age.....................    Annual household income...
                   Tot    18-29  30-44  45-64  65+    <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K


Yes 65% 70% 77% 67% 38% 30% 63% 77% 87% No 35 30 23 33 62 70 37 23 13 DK/NA - - - - - - - - -



13. (If cell phone owner q12) How often do you use a cell phone while driving a car? Very often, sometimes, rarely, or never?

                   REGISTERED VOTERS (Who own cell phones)......................
                          Age.....................    Annual household income...
                   Tot    18-29  30-44  45-64  65+    <30K   30-50  50-100 >100K


Very often 24% 33% 33% 19% 5% 16% 22% 25% 32% Sometimes 25 30 27 26 10 22 25 21 31 Rarely 29 24 28 29 36 27 25 32 26 Never 22 13 12 26 49 32 28 22 11 DK/NA - - 1 - 1 3 - - 1



14. There is a proposal in the state legislature to prohibit the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Drivers who wanted to use a cell phone would have to use equipment which would allow for hands-free operation of the cell phone.

Do you think it is a good or a bad idea to make it illegal to use hand-held cell phones while driving?

                   REGISTERED VOTERS ................................................
                          Cell   Age.....................    Annual household income.
                   Tot    Ownrs  18-29  30-44  45-64  65+    <30K   30-50  50-100 >10


Good idea 85% 82% 78% 79% 88% 92% 91% 85% 84% 80% Bad idea 12 16 18 19 10 4 7 11 14 16 DK/NA 3 2 5 2 2 4 2 4 2 4