Poll: Ohioans back ban on texting while driving


By Marc Kovac

COLUMBUS — Ohioans overwhelmingly support a ban on texting or using hand-held cell phones while driving, according to a new poll.

A total of 89 percent support the texting ban, and 75 percent say hand-held cell phones should be off limits on the road, according to the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute’s results released Tuesday.

And about 84 percent of those polled said banning hand-held cell phones while driving would improve safety on Ohio’s roads.

The texting and cell-phone prohibitions are addressed in a handful of bills introduced by state lawmakers and expected to be acted upon in coming weeks.

“Support for limiting cell-phone use while driving has become a motherhood-and-apple-pie issue,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the polling institute, said in a released statement.

The Connecticut-based university regularly gauges Ohioans’ opinions on candidates and issues.

Over the past week, it questioned 1,074 registered voters on Gov. Ted Strickland, expanded gambling in the state and other issues.

Among the results:

UA total of 60 percent of voters support the governor’s decision to install video-lottery terminals at the state’s seven horse-racing tracks.

UAnd 56 percent support legalized casino gambling in Ohio, compared with 37 percent who do not.

UA total of 58 percent support a November ballot issue to allow casinos at specific sites in Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus and Toledo. But 60 percent of those polled said they would not visit a casino.

“Gambling opponents, who have beat back previous efforts to bring casinos to Ohio four times, have their work cut out for them if they are to prevail this time,” Brown said.

UForty-eight percent of voters approve of the way Strickland is handling his job, up slightly from 46 percent in July. Forty-two percent voiced disapproval of his efforts in July and the most recent poll.

In contrast, 54 percent disapprove of the way the governor is handling the state economy, and 47 percent disapprove of his handling of the state budget.

“Gov. Ted Strickland’s slide has stopped, and there is a little upward movement in the public’s view of him over the summer,” Brown said. “But his numbers remain far below where they were before the state’s budget impasse. While final approval of a budget has helped in the public’ eyes, he still bears some political scars from that prolonged fight.”

mkovac@dixcom.com

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