by Paul Bentz | February 19, 2019

Comments: 1

In the realm of politics, most issues are navigated with the “fifty-percent plus one” mentality – finding consensus among the number of folks that it takes to win an election.  The fact of the matter is, very few issues in this current political environment can achieve near-unanimous support.  That is why our recommended threshold for testing ballot issues remains in the mid-sixty percent range.  If a proposal can achieve that level of support, we believe that it has a strong chance of passage. 

Unanimity is rare, but not impossible.  As our latest polling reveals, at least one issue receives near-unanimous support from likely voters – cracking down on texting while driving.  Working with American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) and AAA Arizona, HighGround conducted a statewide survey on several questions regarding this issue.  We found intense opposition to texting while driving:

We also found that a large majority of Arizona voters believe that SB1165, Senator Brophy-McGee’s “hands-free” proposal, is a worthy solution to combat the problem.  As with all of our polling, we tested a full accurate description of the legislation and found support among all partisan and ideological segments.  Here is the issue test language:

A bill has been proposed in the Arizona State Legislature that would prohibit a driver from holding and operating a portable wireless communication device for activities such as phone calls and texting while the vehicle is in motion.  Drivers would be permitted to operate their communication device through any type of blue tooth device that allows for voice-based communication.  Exceptions for handheld use are made in the case where the vehicle is stopped at a traffic light or if the driver is reporting an illegal activity or summoning help.  Exceptions are also made for certain individuals working in their professional capacity including public safety.  Violators would be guilty of a petty offense and subject to a fine between $75 and $149 for the first offense and between $150 and $250 for each subsequent offense.  Knowing just what you know right now, do you support or oppose this proposal? 

We often joke that you can’t typically get 80% of the electorate to agree on the color of the sky.  However, in this case, they do agree that people need to put down their phones.

From the tragedies on the news to countless personal stories, this issue clearly cuts across party and ideological lines and has found a rare balance where everyone can agree on the approach.  Brophy-McGee’s proposed SB1165 would be a win for everyone involved.



That is why it will not pass this or any other Arizona Legislative body. It makes too much good common sense, it is supported by 95%+ of the electorate no matter how you slice and dice them!

Ted Ferris - February 19, 2019

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