Motoring issues
Poll finds how motorists feel on current issues

Published Mar/Apr 2006

Most readers oppose using tolls as a way to reduce traffic.

More than 900 AAA members responded to a poll about traffic safety issues and transportation concerns in the January/February issue of the AAA Southern Traveler. Both state and federal legislators are being advised by AAA of the opinions expressed by AAA members in Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi who responded to the poll.

Motorists’ attitudes toward governmental regulations all depends on the regulation. In the case of making seat belt use laws primary laws where police officers can stop motorists for not wearing their seat belts, they say:

Primary seat belt use law
Favor 59%
Oppose 41

When it comes to allowing police to use photo radar to take a photograph and mail the ticket to the offender, they say:

Photo radar
Favor 45%
Oppose 55

Yet when it comes to using cameras to photograph a vehicle violating red lights and mailing a ticket to the vehicle owner, they are favorably inclined:

Red light cameras
Favor 59%
Oppose 41

Gauging attitudes on various proposals about tolls, the overwhelming response was negative. Of the respondents,
• 83% opposed putting tolls on existing toll-free roads;
• 78% opposed imposing tolls to reduce traffic on congested roads
• 71% opposed using federal and state fuel taxes to construct new toll roads
• 72% opposed using gas taxes to guarantee toll road bonds

Recently, the price of gasoline was above $3 nationwide, and since then motorists have implemented the following actions to conserve gas:

Consolidated trips whenever possible 40%
Took fewer/shorter leisure trips 30
Drove a more fuel-efficient vehicle 14
Shared rides/carpooled 8
Reduced driving by walking/cycling 5
Used public transportation more 1
Moved closer to job to shorten commute 1

Compared to last year, 52 percent will be taking fewer leisure trips; 42 percent will be taking the same number and 6 percent indicated that they would be increasing the number of leisure trips.

Compared to three years ago, motorists rate the condition of
State highways in their area as:

Improved 37%
Stayed the same 31
Declined 32

When asked to rate the most important highway improvement from among several choices, they rated as their highest priority the following:

Four laning of existing two-lane roads 43%
Eliminating commuter bottlenecks 25
Resurfacing existing four-lane roads 18
Adding more safety features 10
Widening secondary road bridges 4

When asked how they would allocate $100 of the highway users fees they pay (registration and fuel taxes) among selected transportation improvements in their area, they answered that they would spend their $100 this way:

Maintaining and/or expanding existing roads $56
New Roads 25
Public Transit 12
Bicycle and pedestrian projects 6

Of the five safety concerns from which motorists selected, their No. 1 concern was “distracted drivers.” Their concerns include:

Distracted drivers 36%
Aggressive drivers 20
Drunk drivers 19
Large trucks 17
Road conditions 8

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