Parking lot safety poses problem for parents and students

Lexi Mariash, Staff Writer

It is a combination of new, young and distracted drivers all trying to leave the same place at the same time. That is Gaither’s student parking lot. 

Whether it’s the kids mindlessly walking around with no regard to the dozens of cars they’re blocking or the teens behind the wheel distracted by their friends, the parking lot quickly becomes a very dangerous place.

“I don’t feel safe bringing my car to school because teenagers are crazy drivers, and I’ve had too many close encounters with someone hitting me,” said Chris Gonzalez, junior and car enthusiast.

It’s not just students that contribute to this issue. Students have brought up concerns about the issue of parents who don’t understand how the parking lot works. Students say they get easily aggravated at student drivers when they’re the ones on the wrong side of the lot.

Administration has worked hard in the past to put rules in place to make the parking lot safer. Cones have been set out and administration tries to be out and about to assist and protect students and their cars.

Despite their efforts to protect the lot, issues within the past two years include cases of car vandalization to an entire car being stolen from the parking lot. 

The problem lies within the students though.

It is hard to control the variables that continue to keep students unsafe when students refuse to be where they are supposed to be, refuse to go where they are supposed to and continue to neglect how to be a safe driver.

“I’d say the student parking lot is unsafe. Accidents happen almost daily because of the lack of following the rules gaither administration has put into place,” said junior Austen Beard.

There may not be actual collisions every day, but solving this issue is hard because while students want to be able to leave in a more timely manner and not have to worry about their car enduring damage, no one wants stricter rules and less access to their cars.

“I think that adding more teachers to enforce the safety concerns in the parking lot would help and educating drivers in class about the rules of the parking lot” says Gonzalez.

One initiative Gaither Senate takes part in each year to boost the safety of Gaither students, and more specifically driving safety, is Battle of the Belts, or BOTB. 

“The purpose of the campaign is to emphasize the importance of wearing your seatbelt no matter what, and it’s important because maybe something as simple as the posters we hold up reminding students to buckle up could potentially save someone’s life.”

BOTB according to John Hopkins all Children’s Hospital’s website is when school’s “student government associations were asked to create a unique campaign for their high school to encourage fellow students to wear their seat belts during every ride in a motor vehicle.”

“Battle of the Belts is a huge thing for us at Gaither because we actually won the campaign about two years ago and we were able to win $2,000 for our school,” said Reyes.

While Battle of the Belts is a great program, more is needed to be done for our students safety, and students need to be held responsible for parking lot calamity.