LEGISLATIVE WORKSHEET: HOW A BILL BECOMES LAW 1
There are certain issues in nursing that need to be resolved byenacting laws that can be legislated by the federal or nationalgovernment to ensure the common good of the public. I work as ahealthcare provider in the emergency department at a local hospitaland recently two children were admitted to this department withinjuries in their heads and broken bones. These children wereinvolved in an accident when they were riding on a school bus. Ithappened that they were seated on the front seats of the bus whenanother car blocked their way forcing the driver to apply brakesinstantly. Similar incidents have been reported both in the state ofIndiana and nationally solely because school buses are not fittedwith safety belts (Wiegand et al., 2010).
I am concerned with the issue of fixing safety belts for the childrenwho ride on the school buses to guarantee their safety. Sinceprevious attempts to ensure the safety of school-going children havefailed, I propose that only the front seats should be fitted withsafety belts (Wiegand et al., 2010). The driver and people sited infront are usually vulnerable to be injured in the event of a suddenstop of any vehicle not only the school buses but, also the trucks,taxis and personal cars. Based on the recent incident, I think thegovernment should enact laws that ensure the safety of the childrenwho travel with buses to school (GCU, 2016). Therefore, the idea offixing safety belts on the front seats of the buses becomes thestarting point of formulating laws that govern the transportationsector, particularly, in areas involving children.
Research shows that in the event of an accident, most passengers getinjured because they are loosely held on their seats particularlywhen the driver makes a sudden stop by applying brakes (Follin &Springhouse Corporation, 2004). Due to the law of inertia, passengersare moved by a reaction force and as a result, they break their bonesand get injured in almost every part of their bodies. Additionally,my personal experience while treating car accidents’ victimsadmitted to the emergency room I have noticed they usually getinjured because they rarely tie their safety belts while driving ortravelling by a vehicle. Therefore, I propose that the front seatsshould be fitted with safety belts to reduce the number ofcasualties, but, not to eliminate the problem completely. This isbecause previous attempts to equip school buses with safety beltshave failed in many states.
In the state of Indiana, there was a legislative bill last year tofix all school buses with safety belts but, it did not pass. Thehouse transportation committee failed to pass the bill to bescheduled for the first reading in the States’ legislature (GCU,2016). My proposal is a response to this bill so as we can minimizethe vulnerability of children to injuries even if it is notguaranteeing their safety completely (Wiegand et al., 2010). In otherwords, having the front seats fitted with safety belts will ensurethe safety of our children halfway. As stated earlier, incidents ofschool children getting injured while riding on their buses have beenreported almost in all states across the US. Therefore, it seems thatmost states have not passed laws to govern the safety of thesechildren.
A critical analysis of the proposed legislative bill shows thatthere no direct cost saved when you fix safety belts on the frontseats of school buses. However, if the bill is passed into law, thenmany lives of students will be saved. Initially, my colleagues at thehospital supported the idea when I first told them about it, andthus, even when the bill goes to the state’s legislature, I amguaranteed that most of them will support it (GCU, 2016).Additionally, the school community including the parents, teachersand the board of directors will endorse this bill because they arealso concerned about the safety of the school-going children. Since Ihave used a different approach to curb the problem of children beinginjured in their school buses, I think most of my colleagues willoffer me with their support including financial assistance,signatures and even information.
The bill may also receive criticisms from other members of theStates’ legislature, the Senate or the Governor (Egan, 2004). Sincethe previous attempts have failed, it is possible that even the HouseTransportation Committee in the state of Indiana may also reject thisbill. It is important to note that when the bill is approved to bescheduled for the first reading in the State’s Legislature by thecommittee, it is examined, debated on and then voted upon by themembers. The process is then repeated in the Senate, and when theGovernor signs the bill, it becomes law (Hamilton, 2010).
Mr. John, the current representative in the statelegislature, will spearhead the process of making the bill to law. Itis notable that when I approached him during a Parents TeachersAssociation (PTA), he said that he was interested in the idea andinquired for more information. He requested 1500 signatures tosupport the bill, and I managed to get more than 2000 signatures fromregistered voters in the neighborhood with the assistance of mycolleagues. When I met Mr. John in his office, we discussed the bill,and other three representatives agreed to support the bill in thelegislature (GCU, 2016). Fortunately, Mr. John, who is a father tothree young children managed to get the bill passed in thelegislature. Later, the bill progressed to the Senate, and it waspassed. Finally, the governor of the state of Indiana signed the billto become law.
Egan, T. (2004). How a bill becomes a law. New York, NY:Rosen Pub. Group.
Follin, S. A., & Springhouse Corporation. (2004). Nurse`slegal handbook. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams &Wilkins.
Grand Canyon University. How a Bill Becomes a Law. Retrievedfrom:http://lc.gcumedia.com/zwebassets/courseMaterialPages/nrs440v_how-a-bill-becomes-a-law-v2.1.php on March 1, 2016.
Hamilton, J. (2010). How a Bill Becomes a Law. New York: ABDOPublishing Company.
Wiegand, D. M., National Research Council (U.S.)., Commercial Truckand Bus Safety Synthesis Program (U.S.), & United States.(2010). Special safety concerns of the school bus industry.Washington, D.C: Transportation Research Board.