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Poll: Most Americans back cellphone ban for drivers

John Egan

Nearly two-thirds of American adults support a nationwide ban on talking or texting on a cellphone while driving, a new IBOPE Zogby poll shows.

In mid-December, the National Transportation Safety Board called on all states to pass laws prohibiting texting and talking on a cellphone behind the wheel. The proposal touched off a flurry of praise and criticism.

In the poll, the number of adults backing such a ban was 64 percent. Here are some of other findings of the poll:

• Women (49 percent) are more likely than men (31 percent) to strongly agree with a nationwide ban on talking and texting while driving.
• More than half of adults age 65 and above strongly support such a ban.
• Americans age 18 to 29 and 30 to 49 (34 percent each) are least likely to voice strong support.
• Democrats (59 percent) are far more likely than Independents (33 percent) and Republicans (27 percent) to strongly agree with a nationwide ban.

Currently, 35 states and the District of Columbia prohibit texting while driving. Nine states and D.C. ban all drivers from talking on handheld cellphones behind the wheel.

An estimated 3,092 people died in distraction-related car crashes in 2010, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The IBOPE Zogby poll of 2,099 U.S. adults was conducted Dec. 22-27.

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