New Jersey Drivers Still Text, Talk, Despite Cell Phone Ban [AUDIO/POLL]
For the first time in six years, a majority (50%) of New Jerseyans believe that the cell phone ban is making roads safer.
The findings were part of the AAA Clubs of New Jersey 2012 Report to the Legislature and were included in testimony given by AAA in support of a bill that would strengthen the penalties in accidents caused by distracted driving.
But drivers still have a long way to go, in their biennial survey of New Jersey motorists, the AAA Clubs of New Jersey found that New Jersey's drivers recognize the dangers of distracted driving but have not yet changed their own driving habits.
"People continue to have a 'do as I say not as I do attitude' when it comes to distracted driving, but the simple fact is distracted driving is dangerous driving," said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.
Changes to driving behavior take time which may be why 57% of those surveyed supported developing technology to limit the capabilities of cell phones in moving vehicles.
"It's important to continue to stress the dangers of distracted driving, we know that changes to driving behavior take time and while more drivers understand the risks we need to continue to work to influence our youngest drivers, who are also most likely to be texting while driving," Noble said.
In the survey 21% of drivers between 18 and 29 years old admitted to texting while driving. While texting and cell phones are most commonly associated with distracted driving, other activities continue to be cause for concern.
NJ Drivers Still Text, Talk Behind The Wheel
"I used to do it, but not anymore...my friend got into a car accident while she was texting so its not really anything to joke about," said Sarah from Toms River.
"I hate when people text and drive in general, you're putting yourself and everyone else at risk," said another woman from Brick, "The laws are getting tougher so it should deter people from doing it."
"I definitely don't do it, no," said another man from Ocean County, "They are putting those devices in cars now where you can just push a button and talk, I think that's what all cars need to have installed nowadays."
"I can't say I have never done it, but I won't openly admit it," said another woman as she pulled away from a nearby store, cell phone on her lap.