AAA Arizona, APCIA Say Voters Agree on HB 2318
As the country marches towards a hotly contested election in 2020, very few issues are able to cut across the partisan divide. However, a recent statewide survey conducted by HighGround Inc. reveals at least one issue can unite Arizona voters — keeping their hands off their phones and their eyes on the road. Voters across all ages, regions, and partisan segments overwhelmingly support primary hands-free legislation that is intended to crack down on distracted driving. The survey showed that 86.1 percent of likely voters support the proposed legislation. The survey was funded by the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) and AAA Arizona.
“In my experience, very few issues can achieve this level of universal support. When we test proposals for the ballot, for example, we recommend that the issue secure support in the mid-sixty percent range to have a chance of success in an election,” said Paul Bentz, Sr. Vice President of Research and Strategy at HighGround, Inc., “This proposal is supported by all party and age segments – including an overwhelming number of Republicans and Conservatives.”
The survey revealed near unanimous opposition to texting while driving with 96 percent opposed. However, nearly 51 percent of respondents reported that they believed that cell phone use while driving was permissible – including 55 percent of Republicans, 43 percent of Democrats, and 59 percent of unaffiliated voters and 41 percent Independent and others. Combined, these factors pave the way for the strong support for the “hands-free” legislative proposal.
“Across the country, 47 states already have a statewide texting ban with an additional 17 states having enacted a hands-free standard, which is what is being proposed here,” said Jeremy Merz, APCIA vice president. “The primary hands-free legislation is a bipartisan approach to solve this problem that promotes a safer use of technology by keeping a driver’s eyes on the road. As our polling shows, this hands-free approach strikes the right balance – cracking down on hand-held use of devices for activities such as texting while allowing drivers to continue to use their phone with a blue-tooth device.”
“Throughout Arizona, 21 counties and cities already have some sort of cell phone use restriction on the books,” said Michelle Donati, spokesperson for AAA Arizona. “Voters from across the state agree that it is time that we take a statewide approach to this issue and ensure that everyone operates under the same rules. Legislators should rest assured that this is something their constituents overwhelmingly support.”
Survey questions as asked:
Q. While driving on Arizona’s roads, how often do you observe other motorists attempting to use their phones for texting or appearing to be distracted by their smart phones for any other activity while driving?
1.0% Don’t Know
Q. How often would you say you glance at your cell phone for texting or any other activity while driving?
1.5% Don’t Know
Q. In general, do you believe people should be able to text while driving? [Definitely/Probably]
1.8% Definitely Yes
1.5% Probably Yes
6.8% Probably No
89.3% Definitely No
0.8% Don’t Know/Refused
Q. In general, do you believe people should be able to talk on a cell phone while driving? [Definitely/Probably]
21.0% Definitely Yes
29.8% Probably Yes
8.3% Probably No
35.8% Definitely No
5.3% Don’t Know/Refused
Q. A bill has been proposed in the Arizona State Legislature that would prohibit a driver from holding and operating a portable wireless communication device for activities such as phone calls and texting while the vehicle is in motion. Drivers would be permitted to operate their communication device through any type of blue tooth device that allows for voice-based communication. Exceptions for handheld use are made in the case where the vehicle is stopped at a traffic light or if the driver is reporting an illegal activity or summoning help. Exceptions are also made for certain individuals working in their professional capacity including public safety. Violators would be guilty of a petty offense and subject to a fine between $75 and $149 for the first offense and between $150 and $250 for each subsequent offense.
Knowing just what you know right now, do you support or oppose this proposal? [Definitely/Probably Yes/No]
64.8% Definitely Support
21.3% Probably Support
3.8% Probably Oppose
8.5% Definitely Oppose
1.8% Don’t Know/Refused
GOP: 84.4% Support
About the Survey
The poll surveyed 400 likely Arizona 2020 General Election voters who have a history of electoral participation and was balanced to model the likely turnout of voters across party, age, region, and gender. The live interview survey of voters was conducted by HighGround Public Affairs to both landline and cell phone users. The margin of error is ±4.9%.
Representing nearly 60 percent of the U.S. property casualty insurance market, the American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers. APCIA represents the broadest cross-section of home, auto, and business insurers of any national trade association. APCIA members represent all sizes, structures, and regions, which protect families, communities, and businesses in the U.S. and across the globe.
About AAA Arizona
AAA has a proud history of serving Members for over 100 years. AAA is on a mission to create Members for life by unleashing the innovative spirit of 4,000 employees representing nearly 6 million Members across Northern California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming and Alaska. In addition to legendary roadside assistance, AAA offers home, auto and life insurance, and extraordinary travel services. According to Via Magazine's Smart Guide, being a AAA Member can save you more than $1,200 a year. Learn more at AAA.com.