Vancouver, BC – A new Ipsos Reid poll in BC reveals that British
Columbia residents strongly support the new proposed legislation that will ban cell phone
usage while driving as of January 1, 2010. A strong majority of residents support the ban
(92%), with three-quarters of the population "strongly supporting" it (75%).
The poll also asked whether residents support various other aspects of the ban. There is
nearly universal support for the ban on sending/receiving text messages (96% total support,
93% strongly support) and sending/receiving emails while driving (98% total support, 94%
strongly support). There is also strong support for the ban on using hands-free devices for new
drivers under the Graduated License Program (89% total support, 73% strongly support) and
moderate support for exceptions to the legislation for police, fire and ambulance drivers while
working during emergencies.
What's more, one-third (34%) believe that the provincial government should have gone
one step further to prohibit the use of hands-free devices while driving as well. Older residents
are much more likely to agree with this compared to their younger counterparts. Nearly half of
those over the age of 55 (45%) think that the provincial government should ban hands-free
devices as well, compared to just over half (28%) of those aged 35 to 54 and 29% of those 18
One month after the ban is put in place, on February 1, 2010, drivers caught using a cell
phone will be fined $167. Over one-third (36%) feel that this fine is too low. A further 44% feel
that it is about right, while 17% think it is too high. Those aged 18-34 are more likely to think
the fine is too high (25% of 18-34 compared to 10% of 55+). Similarly, males (22%) are also
more likely to think the fine is too high relative to females (11%)
The poll also finds that a minority of residents plan to break the law. When asked what
activities BC residents expect to participate in while driving after the new legislation comes
into place, just under one-in-ten (7%) admit that they will talk on a non-hands-free phone while
driving, 5% will use hand-held music or portable gaming devices, 2% will read/send text
messages and 1% will read/send emails. Males and younger age groups are more likely to
admit to making an infringement here. Those aged 18 to 34 (13% compared to 2% of those
55+) and males (12% versus 3% of females) confess that they will talk on their cell phones
while driver after the legislation passes.
These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid online poll conducted between October 29th
and November 6th, 2009 with a representative sample of 758 adult British Columbians. With a
sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.64 percentage points, 19
times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of British
Columbians been polled. The margin of error will be larger within regions and for other sub-
groupings of the survey population. The polling was conducted using Ipsos Reid's "Voice of
the West Interactive Forum" – an online panel of more than 6,000 British Columbians who
have been randomly recruited to match the overall characteristics of the adult residents of the
For more information on this news release, please contact:
Senior Vice President
About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader, the country's leading provider of public
opinion research, and research partner for loyalty and forecasting and modelling insights. With
operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 600 research professionals and
support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in the
country, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and online panels. Ipsos Reid's
marketing research and public affairs practices offer the premier suite of research vehicles in
Canada, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Staffed with
seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, Ipsos Reid
offers syndicated information or custom solutions across key sectors of the Canadian
economy, including consumer packaged goods, financial services, automotive, retail, and
technology & telecommunications. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-
based market research group.
To learn more, please visit www.ipsos.ca
Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed
by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and
responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.
Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop
and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They
test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion
around the globe.
Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media,
and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full
line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services,
guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The
company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999.
In 2008, Ipsos generated global revenues of €979.3 million.
Visit www.ipsos.com to learn more
about Ipsos offerings and capabilities.
Ipsos, listed on the Eurolist of Euronext – Comp B, is part of SBF 120 and the Mid-
100 Index, adheres to the Next Prime segment and is eligible to the Deferred Settlement
System. Isin FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP