Parking Lot Problems

TALAWANDA HIGH SCHOOL — An overwhelming number of parents and students have admitted to feeling unsafe while navigating the high school parking lot, but what is being done to fix this problem?

“I feel very unsafe in the Talawanda parking lot!” Zoe Moore, a junior, said. “Sophomore year there were a bunch of dents in the side of my car. Same height as the door of the car that parks next to me.” This is not an uncommon response for students at Talawanda High School when asked about their feelings on the school’s parking lot. Students are on edge, especially considering the number of parking lot incidents which have already occured within in the first week of the 2018-19 school year including one fender-bender confirmed by school officials and another incident between students attempting to park that was left unreported to school officials.

The original intent of creating the parking lot to be a unique shape was so that students will go slower and be more aware while driving, but it seems to have done more harm than good. No matter how complex the parking lot might be, there will always be those students who speed into the parking lot at 7:13 in an attempt to not be late to their first period class and this puts themselves and others in danger. One concerned driver weighed in saying, “With only one exit, it’s hard getting out of here at the end of the day.” Of those interviewed in the parking lot and asked how safe they feel on a scale of one to ten (ten being safest and one being least safe), the average response was a 6.

In 2013 young people ages 15-19 represented only 7% of the U.S. population. However, they accounted for 11% ($10 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries. The CDC reports, “Teen drivers are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations.” With this extra caution in mind it is important for students to know the proper procedures if they do find themselves in a crash while on campus. No matter where it may occur, if a car accident occurs and those involved believe the damage exceeds $1,000, a fatality occurs, or the accident causes an injury that requires medical attention, a file must be reported on the accident in accordance with Ohio Revised Code 4509.06.

Teachers Mike Marston, TJ Pearson, Jim McWilliams, Marc Tincher, and administrators have been monitoring the parking lot and directing the drop-off line in the mornings along with our School Resource Officer.

Talawanda High School principal Tom York commented on the parking lot when asked a few questions. When Mr. York was asked “Has the bus company ever complained about the formatting of our parking lot?” he responded with: “Yes, the bus folks have had issues they are concerned about. Some of their concerns focus on the speed of drivers coming onto school property and a degree of recklessness some drivers show. They are always concerned about the safety of kids.”

Mr. York would like to remind students to not get into a hurry, look out for other drivers, don’t text and drive and to always pay attention.


Photo Credit:  MK Huddleston