School Parking Lot Safety

Driving is a rite of passage for high schoolers. Pulling into the parking lot with a car and license is a stepping stone to becoming independent. Pleasant Valley’s school parking lot is divided into three sections; Staff parking, Senior parking, and Student parking. There is also parking and pick up for teachers and busses by the Yale building. While the student parking area is close and gives easy access to near on-campus parking, many students choose to park back behind the baseball fields to avoid the chaos of the student parking traffic and accidents.

Many students have been victims and/or instigators of accidents in the student parking lot. Enrique Rodriguez, a senior who has been in an accident in the school parking lot before, explained that when it comes to an accident in the parking lot “PV students and parents tend to be nicer toward each other whenever they are involved in an accident. Since everyone knows that they are new to driving, most people tend to give them the benefit of the doubt.”

With so many students filling out the parking lot and parents coming in to pick up their kids and students rushing to their cars to leave, there are many aspects to be aware of when driving and even walking into the school parking lot. Enrique went on to express his belief that “accidents happen too often at our campus due to distractions, from their phone or peers, and not paying attention to their surroundings.” When someone hits another car, it is their responsibility and due diligence to give their insurance information, even if that car was parked and no one was present in the vehicle, they are still responsible for leaving a note with their name, and number or to find the driver. Not doing so, is called a Hit and Run, and if caught, which is likely with the cameras and campus supervisors present, will result in further legal punishment.

Student, staff, and parent drivers are not the only ones that have to be aware and cautious of their surroundings but so do the students without vehicles themselves. Students weaving in and out around parked and moving cars need to watch their surroundings to make certain that they are seen by surrounding drivers and that they can see the cars that are around them.

Not only are there distractions that cause the parking lot to be dangerous but there are also hasty and impatient drivers. With the thrill of attaining a driver’s license also comes a new sense of power in knowing that one is in complete control of a vehicle. Ella Riccomini, a senior, answered that she has had to make quick, in-the-moment decisions in the parking lot when dealing with impatient drivers, “I was once backing out of my parking spot when this car came speeding down the isle behind me, never had I before had to change gears and go back into my spot so quickly.”

Driving comes with responsibility, for those around you, your vehicle, and yourself. Be cautious and courteous when driving in and out of the school parking lot. Driving safely not only benefits your life but the lives of everyone on or off the road, don’t make the mistake of misusing a vehicle and harming yourself or others. Make the parking lot an organized, respectful, and safe place for everyone who attends and visits Pleasant Valley High School.