Assignment 1: LASA 2: Generating a Policy Proposal
Although some states and cities have passed laws to ban texting and using handheld phones while driving, there is no current law to ban all cell phone use while driving. However, according to the National Safety Council (2009), 28 percent of all crashes—1.6 million per year—are caused by cell phone use and texting by drivers. The mission of a new national nonprofit organization called FocusDriven, patterned after Mothers Against Drunk Driving, is to make phone use while driving as illegal and socially unacceptable as drunk driving. US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood supports FocusDriven and its efforts: According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, LaHood said this movement will become “an army of people traveling the countryside” to push for bans on cell phone use and tough enforcement (Schmit, 2010).
As a political advocate interested in this issue, you will be writing a policy proposal that utilizes the current research to propose a solution to the issue and submit it in this assignment.
Please note that your proposal is not an opinion/position paper, and your conclusions need to be based on the scientific research you reviewed earlier. Please follow the typical steps in proper academic writing (planning, outlining, drafting, revising, proofing, and editing) to generate the following proposal structure:
In the introduction, you should set up the purpose for the proposal, provide a bit of background on the topic, and present your thesis.
Select at least three research reports from peer-reviewed journals relevant to the cell phone use while driving, making sure they address one or more of the following issues:
- How do texting, handheld phones, and hands-free phones compare with each other in their effects on driving?
- How do other, traditional distractions compare to cell phone use in their effects on driving (such as eating, attending to children, talking to passengers, listening to music/news, etc.)?
- Can cell phone use while driving be compared with drunk driving? Why or why not?
- What other variables (such as age) can affect driving while using a cell phone?
With the insights gained from these articles cover the following in the Policy portion of your proposal:
1: In a one-page summary, compare and contrast the results of the various studies regarding the cognitive abilities that are affected during cell phone use while driving.
2: Using that research, develop and explain particular recommendations for policy makers. For instance, restrict texting, or regulate the use of hand-held phones. All your recommendations must be supported by your research findings.
3: Based on the gaps in current research, describe the variables, populations, and situations which you would like to see future research address.
Review the important current research, your conclusions from that research, and how the future could look in both policy and research. Keep your goal in mind: To convince the reader to support your current policy proposal and future research to examine this issue more closely.
Your proposal should be written in APA style (which includes a title page with running header and a reference page), and free of typographical and grammatical errors. The body of your proposal should be 4–5 pages long.
Schmitz, J. (2010, January 13). Cell phone ban for drivers is focus of new group.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved from http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10013/1027757-147.stm.
National Research Council. (2010). National Safety Council Estimates that At Least 1.6 Million Crashes Each Year Involve Drivers Using Cell Phones and Texting. Available at