A survey of licensed drivers in Washington shows overwhelming support for the coming hands-free law, but that it will have little effect on the cell phone usage of drivers.
The survey also documents a great deal of confusion as to when the law actually takes effect (July 1st), what the cost of the traffic fines are, and what kinds of devices can be used to comply with the new law.
The survey shows that 71 percent of drivers support the law, while only 10 percent oppose it. It also shows that 75 percent of drivers consider cell phone use while driving to be dangerous – yet 63 percent of respondents use their cell phone while driving on average about an hour a day, one quarter of their daily drive time, and primarily for non-urgent matters. Interestingly, key factors driving the purchase of a hands-free device by respondents were “obeying the law” and “safety” at 51 and 50 percent, respectively.
The study also revealed that 47 percent of drivers already use some type of hands-free device, whether it’s a headset, the speaker of their cell phone, or a portable or installed hands-free car kit.
The ticket for while using a cell phone without a hands-free device while driving is $101.