Good Example Of The Policy Sector/ Issue Area Abstract Essay
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Sector – Education
Drug usage is a social national problem in almost all countries in the world (Drugs & Driving, 10). This is a problem which has affected governments and households. Governments have used a lot of money to promote training and counselling among all classes of people who use drugs. They have also supported non- governmental organizations in order to create awareness among the affected groups. Drug abuse effects include loss of lives, physical damage, loss property, dropping out of school and insanity. Huge amounts of money have been used to construct rehabilitation centres as correctional facilities to those already affected by drugs. At household level, parents have lost their children through death, some children have dropped from school, and others have become insane while others have permanent physical impairment. These signs arising from drug abuse signal a social problem in the society. This paper will address drug driving among school going teenagers because this is a class of people who are mostly affected by drug abuse. This is because they are still developing and are easily influenced by peer pressure (Moskowtz, 33). A qualitative model analysing the benefits and costs of drug usage will be used to measure the viable course of action. At the end of the study, governments, parents, teenagers and the whole society should be able to take the appropriate course of actions, in order to minimize drug driving among school going teenagers.
The reason I chose this sector is because teenagers are the most affected by this social problem and almost all teenagers go to school. Drunk driving among teenagers is a social problem that affects not only the households but also the government. Studies show that almost one million teens drunk alcohol in 2011 and drove while drunk. Furthermore, those teens who drunk and drove are more likely to be involved in fatal car crashes. The study continues to say that at least 85% of the teens went to school driving while drunk and they were also involved in binge drinking. Binge drinking is where a teen can drink different brands of alcohol within a couple of hours (Drugs & Driving, 17). Although research shows that teen drinking has decreased by 54%, there are still high cases of drug driving.
There are many reasons attributed to drug driving namely unrestricted access to alcoholic drinks, massive advertisement of alcoholic drinks, problems with self-esteem, use of alcohol by role models and pressure from peers.
What are the major policy issues here?
The following are the social problems arising from undesirable social behaviours of drug driving.
Loss of lives – Many teenagers have lost their lives as a result of drug driving. Drugs interfere with someone’s judgement. It is not possible to read the road signs and as a result most signs are overlooked which lead to fatal accidents.
Physical impairment - The tanagers that have not died have succumbed serious injuries. Some of them are permanently impaired.
What is the government doing with regard to each?
The measures which the government has put in place to handle all the three social problems include revocation of driving license of parents or persons who give teenagers cars to drive. Parents can also be fined for poor parenting through being denied custody of teenagers who are not taken good care. The department of child care should also monitor parenting of teenagers in order to identify those parents who are not taking good care of their teenagers. The government has collaborated with the schools to include drug driving in the school curriculum in order to create awareness about dangers of drug driving. The government to revoke operating licence to those outlets which sell beer to underage. Traffic police should be on the look to identify the teenagers who are driving. They should inspect their cars for any possession of alcohol. The government has put rules such as fastening of safety belts while driving, prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving, not driving under the influence of alcohol, use of speed governors and speed limits. A lot of property has been lost through drug driving. Once a car losses control it is damaged. Other properties that may be damaged are nearby businesses, road signs, houses and other property.
What explains government's action or inaction
The government has implemented several actions to decrease the number of teenage drug driving. The government punish poor parenting through denying custody to parents who do not guide their children in a right manner. Parents are requested to involve themselves in the growth of their children. Many parents are very busy with their own progress and they do not have time to spend with their children. The children are left in the hands of house helps and television and they have no one to guide then. When they feel stressed with issues of life, they try to look for alternative means in order to fill the vacuum they feel within themselves. When they meet with peers with the same problems, they settle on alcohol and with time this becomes a habit. Some parents also give their teenagers the privilege to drive. Parents should sign agreements with their teen that they should not take parents car and drive without authority from the parent.
Reduce the age drinking group – This is a law aimed at preventing anyone under the age of 21 years from drinking. Retail stores play a major role in ensuring that this law is enforced and studies show that a sale of alcohol has considerably reduced.
Zero tolerance – This law is aimed at ensuring that no teen drives while drug. Studies show that this law has reduced the number of crushes where a teen is involved.
Graduated driver licensing – This is aimed at increasing experience in driving. When teens go through various stages before they are given the privilege of driving alone, they become more confident and careful. Studies show that this measure has led to fewer accidents.
What are the major contemporary challenges here?
The major cotemporary challenge is the ability of the government to screen every teen that drink and drive. There are many teenagers who have lost their lives because they were never caught by the check of drug driving. These laws should not only cover the city centers only but also country side. Surveillance should be everywhere even in the country side where teen love to hide when they are doing wrong practices. Teen drug driving is not a problem of the household only, but a problem which can be addressed by every member of the society. If every member in the society can take the responsibility of advising teenagers about drug driving, then the problems associated to drug driving could reduce. Before developing the solutions, it is important to consider how effective or feasible a solution will be. A feasible solution is one which has a high likelihood of being supported and implemented by the government. An effective solution is one which once implemented will help reduce the social problem. An appropriate social policy must have a combination of effectiveness and feasibility.
What are the different solution that have been proposed?
Some of the solutions that have been proposed for this problem are:
States can ensure that the laws in place are strictly followed. Laws such as minimum drinking age, zero tolerance laws and graduated driver licensing should be enforced and any misconduct punished. Creating awareness among the youth and parents can also help and make clear the dangers of drug driving. Teens and parents can be educated on the dangers of drinking and driving. Parents should be advised to live by example. This is because if a parent come home drug he cannot confidently tell the son not to drink. Agreements such as parent-teen should also be enforced at home. The health professionals can also show the parents and teens the results of teens that have either died because of drug driving. If there are any survivors, they can be used to show the seriousness of drug driving. Teens are the class of people affected most by drug driving. However, they can make tough decisions about their own lives by deciding to stop drinking completely, follow the enacted laws about drinking, drive at low speed, not to drive while using a cell phone, fasten their safe belt and not to ride in the same car driven by a drug teen. It is important for parents to realize that most teens that drink and drive do so because there are differences between them. Parents should understand their teens because they will see and recognize when their teen start changing in behaviour. They should talk to their teens concerning the dangers of drug driving. They should also serve as an example to their teens.
What do you propose as the most "do-able" or feasible and why have you selected that (those) particular this sector?
The most effective method to reduce drug driving is the one where the state is required to ensure that the laws of drug driving are strictly followed. A teen’s court may be considered as an option and this will help in the correctional process of the teen’s behaviour. The option of teens leaving the court through a bail should be abolished. The parents should cooperate with the state in order to ensure that they do not protect their teens while on the wrong and allow the hand of law take its course.
What models/typologies best capture this sector?
Models of policy analysis could either be quantitative or qualitative in nature ( Knoefel, 119). This study will consider the qualitative method of policy analysis. The best model to use in this policy issue of drug driving is to consider the benefits and costs of the policy alternative which I have chosen. Every policy solution has its own benefits and solutions. For a policy solution to be effective, it must have benefits which outweigh costs. Otherwise, it may be expensive to implement a policy solution which has little or no benefits. Benefits and costs may be quantifiable or non-quantifiable. For quantifiable benefits and costs, a quantitative cost or benefit can be attached to it. For non-quantifiable benefits and costs, a qualitative cost and benefit can be attached to it. Irrespective of the nature of benefits and costs, an appropriate measure should be selected depending on the nature of benefit of cost. The sources of benefits and costs can be derived from analysing the solution selected, by considering the benefits or costs which could arise from selecting a certain policy action and considering the benefits and cost which do not arise from selecting that policy action. The following benefits can be derived from the policy solution I suggested:
The teens will not have access to drugs and for the period of time they will be in the teen court, they will train themselves to abstain from using drugs. A considerable stay in the court will reduce the urge of using drugs and with restricted usage lead to total abstinence.
The teens will also gain from training and counselling services. The correctional officers may have sections of training which should be done frequently. Knowledge is power; this type of counselling and training can make a teen take an about turn in his life.
This will serve as an example to other teens and may considerably reduce the chances of teenage drug driving. Some of the costs which may be associated with the policy solution selected are;
The administrative costs will be an additional cost to the government
Because of the existing rights of law-breakers, the court may not be very significant in reducing teenage drug driving.
How is this sector both similar to and different from three others?
Every sector has its own social problems which require different policies. Since some benefits and costs are quantifiable, the model used will be different from using non quantifiable data.
In conclusion, this study sought to identify a social problem in a sector of choice. The sector considered for this study was education. The social problem identified was drug driving among school going teenagers. Three social problems relating to drug driving have been identified namely loss of lives, physical damage and school drop outs. The government have implemented several laws to reduce drug driving among teenagers. Some of the laws are revocation of driving licence of parents who allow their teenagers to drive while they are drug, implementation of school curriculum which creates awareness about the dangers of drug driving, zero tolerance, minimum drinking age, graduated driver licence and involvement of parents. Some solutions were discussed which made it clear that all the stakeholders in the society are responsible for bringing a viable solution to this problems. The stakeholders identified include the state, professional health practitioners, the teenager’s parents and the community at large. One solution was identified which seemed to the writer as the most viable. The solution was construction of teenage court to deal with teenage drug driving. A qualitative model was used to identify the benefits and costs associated with this course of action. Three benefits and two costs were identified. It was stated that no policy can be implemented if not supported by political process. The study was concluded by identifying other sectors which are different from education sector. The supporting information made it clear that each sector has its own social problems, and although the same process of policy analysis may be used, the social problem indicators may be different. Different models are used for each type of sector depending on whether the benefits and costs are quantifiable or non-quantifiable.
Moskowitz, Herbert. Drugs and Driving. , 1976. Internet resource.
Knoepfel, Peter. Public Policy Analysis. Bristol: Policy Press, 2011. Print.
Drugs and Driving: Detection and Deterrence. Paris: OECD, 2010. Print.
Centers for disease control and prevention (2012). 1600 Clifton Rd. Atlanta, GA 30329-4027, U.S.A www.cdc.gov/parentsAreTheKey.
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