Motorcycle Helmet Law as Public Health Policy

Healthcare employees’ efforts on the improvement of people’s health are not limited by the hospital environment. Frequently, it is necessary to collaborate with a state official to implement crucial health reforms. The present paper discusses one of such essential policies, namely, the need to enforce the motorcycle helmet law in Illinois.

Overview of the Healthcare Policy and Solution

The Healthcare Policy

The suggested healthcare policy is the implementation of the motorcycle helmet law in Illinois. Because as little as 45.5% of motorcyclists in the state wear helmets, there is a high rate of injuries and fatalities among this population group (Illinois Department of Transportation, 2016). The policy is aimed at reducing the number of negative incidents and increasing the safety of young people that constitute the major group of cyclists.

The Identified Solution

Law enforcement is the most relevant solution in the given case. In particular, automated enforcement is the main constituent of the policy’s implementation. To promote the project, it is necessary to inform citizens about the existing automated enforcement measures such as cameras and radars.

Relevance to the Community or Population Group

Since people’s safety is at stake, the policy is highly relevant to the community. It is necessary to promote the implementation of the policy through social media, road signs, and press releases. Also, schoolchildren and college students should be informed about the project at their educational institutions. Every member of the community should be encouraged to support the policy.

Communication Techniques

The Selected Elected Official and Position

The official chosen to be approached on the matter is Julie A. Morrison, the Senator of the 29th District (“Senator Julie A. Morrison,” n.d.). She is a member of the Illinois Senate since 2013. The Senator has a bachelor’s degree from Knox College. She used to serve at West Deerfield Township in the position of a supervisor (“Senator Julie A. Morrison,” n.d.). According to the official webpage, Morrison’s associated senators are Jonathan Carroll and Scott Drury.

The rationale for the Selection

The major reason for choosing to address Senator Morrison is that some of her key committee assignments are the transportation and oversight of Medicaid managed care (“Senator Julie A. Morrison,” n.d.). Thus, the involvement of the official in these two areas, as well as her experience in developing policies, are the arguments in favor of asking her to support the project.

Four Beneficial Communication/Presentation Techniques

  1. Visual presentation. This tool is necessary when one needs to illustrate the statistics of the issue in question, offer examples, and make the problem’s main features clear.
  2. Asking for feedback. Inviting Senator Morrison to share her impressions will encourage her not to disregard the question but investigate it thoroughly.
  3. Making the appropriate language choices. In the presentation, it will be necessary to use “we” instead of “I” or “you.” That way, the Senator will feel neither obliged to do something nor disconnected from the issue. It is necessary to emphasize that every person bears equal responsibility.
  4. Evoking empathy. To encourage the office to promote the policy, it is essential to provide statistics on injuries and fatalities. By doing so, it will be possible to persuade her that the issue is rather serious and requires immediate consideration.

Scholarly Resources Supporting the Use of the Communication Techniques

The books by Balzer Riley (2017) and Barker (2016) support the use of the selected communication techniques. Both academic sources mention the chosen approaches among the most effective ones in the process of negotiation and persuasion. The use of the mentioned communication tools is described as an advantageous way of leading important discussions.

Conclusion

The introduction of the motorcycle helmet law in Illinois will have a beneficial impact on public health in the state. The policy will reduce motorcycle riding-related fatality and injury rates. The official to address is Senator Morrison. Communication techniques that will be applied in approaching the official are evoking empathy, visual presentation, asking for feedback, and making appropriate language choices.

References

Balzer Riley, J. (2017). Communication in nursing (8th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

Barker, A. (2016). Improve your communication skills (4th ed.). New York, NY: Kogan Page.

Illinois Department of Transportation. (2016). 2015 Highway safety program annual evaluation report. Web.

Senator Julie A. Morrison. (n.d.). Web.