Results from a public opinion poll released today reveal the majority of Americans over age 45 support laws that strip drivers of their licenses once they are ticketed for texting behind the wheel. Yet, the amount of support for revoking driver’s licenses for texting shrinks with age.
Poll Position, a nonpartisan news and polling company based in Atlanta, conducted the scientific telephone survey of 1,094 registered voters nationwide on Jan. 3. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 points.
Four age groups — 18 to 29, 30 to 44, 45 to 64 and those 65 and older — were asked, “Do you believe that people who police catch texting while driver should lose their driver’s licenses for a period of time?” Adults 65 and older answered “yes” 67 percent of the time, followed by the 45-to-64 age group at 55 percent. About 40 percent of the 30- to 44-year-old and 18- to 29-year-old groups also answered in the affirmative.
Overall, nearly half of all respondents support the stripping of driver’s licenses, while 38 percent disagreed and 12 percent had no opinion.
The survey further broke down responses by race, gender and political party. Fifty-one percent of those who said they were white agreed that driver’s licenses should be revoked, followed by 50 percent of Hispanics, 45 percent of “other” races and 43 percent of blacks.
More females than males support driver’s license penalties: 53 percent compared to 47. Among women, 32 percent said you should not lose your license, and 15 percent had no opinion. Meanwhile, 44 percent of men said texting while driving should not result in losing one’s license, and 9 percent had no opinion.
Slightly more Democrats support losing your driver’s license for texting (50.5 percent) than do Independents (49.6 percent) and Republicans (49.5 percent).
This month, a federal ban of hand-held cellphone usage by interstate commercial vehicle drivers went into effect, and last month the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that all 50 states and D.C. enact laws that ban all forms of hand-held and hands-free mobile communications conversations, including texts, emails and social network updates.