Youth Forward Scholarship Winter 2016 – Changing Lives One Animal at a Time

Name: Cameron Ferguson
From: Floyds Knobs, Indiana
Grade: 11
School: Floyd Central High School
Votes: 0

Distracted driving is becoming a major problem in the United States.
With the increases in technology the problem is only going to worsen
unless there is progressive action to prevent injuries and fatalities
resulting from distracted driving.

In the state of Indiana there are few driving laws concerning distracted
driving. Text messaging is prohibited for drivers while a vehicle is
in motion with a fine of $500. Another is that persons under the age
of 18 are not to use cell phones, text messaging devices, or any
other wireless communication devices. I would change my state’s law
so that there is to be no use of any wireless communication device
for persons of any age and increase the fine to $1000. There should
be no texting or communication even if the vehicle is not moving.
Even stationary people still have to be aware of their surroundings
and be prepared for anything to happen.

Another law I would suggest is a law requiring phone companies to put a
scanner in cell phones to detect vehicular motion. When the device
detects the vehicle becoming in motion the phone would deactivate and
the only thing that could be activated is the emergency service
system. By activating this scanner in devices, it will eliminate the
temptation of picking up the phone and using it due to it being
unusable. We also need to regulate the volume levels allowed by the
radio. If a radio is too loud it can distract the driver or make them
unable to hear any emergency vehicles that need immediate access to
the emergency. If the cars have a scanner similar to the one I
suggested in cellular phones it would greatly reduce incidents
resulting from radio distraction. This scanner is similar to the
cellular one but instead of shutting down the radio, it would simply
lower the volume to a level that is enjoyable, yet practical for

In addition to those laws, the age which teens can get their license should be
raised. The current age in Indiana to obtain an operator’s license
is 16 and three months years, which is far too young. The age should
be increased to 18 years of age because most of the cell phone users
while driving is teens who just received their license. The amount of
time a teen trying to get a driver’s license spends hands on with
their instructor needs to be increased. This way, the driving
instructor could correct any driving mistakes and have them practice
not using cellular devices and show them they are not needed. The law
should also require teens to participate in a simulation where they
are trying to be on their cellular device and drive at the same time
so they can see how hard it is to be on their device and focus on
driving at the same time.

There are many ways in which the amount of distracted driving could be reduced.
By putting scanners in cellular devices and radios, regulating radio
volume laws, and increasing the penalties resulting from wireless
communication device use, the number of people being injured or
killed due to distracted drivers should be eliminated.

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