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While nine-in-ten Canadians agree with distracted driving laws, only 51% say they have been effective.

Vancouver, BC – Canadians are decidedly supportive of the legislation that bans drivers from using hand-held devices in every province, and a majority believe the time has come to implement distracted walking legislation in their municipality, a new Canada-wide Insights West poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 93% of Canadians agree with every Canadian province and territory—with the exception of Nunavut—having distracted driving legislation, which forbids the use of hand-held cell phones by drivers.

Some Canadian municipalities are contemplating distracted walking legislation that would forbid the use of hand-held cell phones by people who are on a roadway (for example, while crossing a street). In July, Toronto City Council passed a motion calling for the Province of Ontario to amend the Highway Traffic Act to ban residents from using mobile devices “while on any travelled portion of a roadway.” Two City of Vancouver councilors have also voiced support for a ban.

Across the country, two thirds of Canadians (66%) support their own municipality enacting distracted walking legislation, including 80% of Canadians aged 55 and over and 74% of Quebecers.


In spite of the high level of agreement with existing distracted driving legislation, only 51% of Canadians believe it has been effective in curbing the use of hand-held cell phones by drivers in their province.

Residents of Alberta (49%), Atlantic Canada (44%) and Ontario (41%) are more likely to believe that existing distracted driving laws have been ineffective, while only one-in-four Quebecers (25%) feel the same way.

“Canadians are definitely happy with the existence of distracted driving legislation, yet they continue to see drivers using hand-held devices with no consequences,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “It is this perceived failure of enforcement that is making Canadians question the effectiveness of the law.”

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

Most of our surveys are conducted through our Your Insights panel. The Your Insights panel is comprised of 30,000 Canadians who share their opinions on a variety of political, economic, social and other issues while earning the opportunity to get paid and win great prizes. If you’re interested in joining, please register at

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from September 6 to September 8, 2016, among a representative sample of 1,013 Canadian adults. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points. Click here to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West