Survey: Majority of citizens supportive, but wary, of health and safety laws

New York – Although the majority of U.S. citizens support safety and health laws such as bans on texting while driving and those addressing the obesity epidemic, nearly two-thirds reported being concerned that these laws may become restrictive, according to results of a survey (.pdf file) released March 20 by Harris Interactive and HealthDay.

Surveyors queried more than 2,200 U.S. adults in February on 14 policies and laws addressing public safety measures intended to protect citizens. Among the findings:

  • 80 percent support banning smoking in restaurants and public places
  • 78 percent support requiring restaurants to display nutrition information on menus
  • 73 percent support laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets
  • 70 percent support the “overall use of cell phones while driving”

Based on these results, “balance must be struck between maintaining both public health and individual freedoms” to ensure continued support of health and safety initiatives, Philip Howard, chairman of legal reform advocacy group Common Good, said in a HealthDay press release.

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