Demolition derby: What can we do to fix student driving problems?

The bottom lot is extremely crowded and not monitored.

Ryan Sheehy

The bottom lot is extremely crowded and not monitored.

by Bailey Spore and Ryan Sheehy

There probably isn’t a single student who doesn’t have a scratch or dent on their car, often caused by other students. A large majority of student driving is downright awful. While the students most likely aren’t trying to be destructive, many drive too fast, text while driving and are unaware of their surroundings.

We have observed problems like rear-ending a car at a stop sign, hitting deer that run across the road, drivers slamming the car door of their moms mini van into another car, and people hitting other cars then driving off like it never happened., a company that sells parent phone monitoring equipment, reports that “Eleven teens die every day as a result of texting and driving.” They also report that “Every day, six teens between ages of 16-19 suffer fatal injuries in car accidents.” Teenagers are one of the most common demographic in terms of car accident fatalities.

According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, “Distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes.” If teen and student drivers would just take driving seriously and pay attention, there would be fewer crashes.

Luckily, both the top and bottom lot of the school are monitored but they could be more under surveillance as students leave school.

School Resource Officer Harold Jones said, “When I give out tickets, it has more of an educational purpose. I try to give out more warnings than a punishment right away.”

Deputy Jones added, “Many citizens have made complaints about the precarious behavior of many student drivers.” These complaints have caused the sheriff’s office to take action and make it a priority to patrol around the area before and after school.

The lower parking lot can’t be seen from where the teachers with bus duty stand, which causes students to drive recklessly because they aren’t supervised. Some teachers could be placed down at the bottom lot after school to supervise it and make sure students are safer.

Junior Taylor Biss drives a 2015 Jeep Wrangler. “I always have to pay attention and be cautious when driving around the school. It worries me a little because so many other people don’t pay attention,” said Biss.

The worst part is that nothing is being done to solve this problem. We have some solutions that can be put in place to help make a safer driving environment.

However, they are not easy solutions. It will take time to fix this issue even if solutions are put in place.

“I think that driving around the school is a problem because students drive fast and are not paying attention. Driving is an important thing that kids don’t take seriously,” said Junior Ashley Ridgely. “Fixing this problem will take a long time because kids don’t care enough to fix it, all they care about is getting them home quickly.”

Ridgely was involved in an accident towards the end of the school year last year. There was bad traffic and someone was driving fast not paying attention. They hit a car pushing it into Ashley’s car. Luckily no one was hurt, but someone could’ve been seriously injured or even killed.

The school could put another resource officer at the bottom lot in the morning and afternoon. Tickets could be given out instead of warnings. Students don’t care about warnings, but if students were charged fines for what they did, they might stop. If parking passes were revoked from students who drove recklessly, students wouldn’t be as stupid while driving. The school could install speeding cameras around the school zone so students don’t go 20 MPH over the limit. Speed cameras would be expensive, but would make the school a much safer environment.

There are so many things that could be done to keep students safer, and they aren’t being done. If the school and students would take action to make driving safer, maybe this wouldn’t be such a problem.