The Student Parking Lot Issue

OLIVIA THOMAS
IMG_9563Parking lots are the home of many unnecessary collisions and careless driving. It will take the conscience effort of Mountain Vista students to keep the student parking lot safe. For many MVHS students, being an upper classmen is an opportunity to explore the newly found privilege of driving to school. Sweet 16 is the golden year, when teenagers around America are handed car keys. After tedious driving hours and exams, a license can be obtained.Sadly, many teenagers toss most safe driving rules out the window, especially in parking lots.

Ten Minutes With Deputy Vance Fleet:                                                                                                                  

Deputy Vance Fleet clarifies answers to everyday driving related questions.

Many wonder what the right thing to do is, when an accident ensues. Fleet shared helpful tips. First of all, NEVER flee the scene of an accident. This pertains to the victim and the person at fault. Should the person of interest choose to leave the crime scene, police will find him or her, and “it can be a 12 point ticket,” Fleet Said. Six points in or under 12 consecutive months of holding a license is more than enough to suspend the precious driver’s license, that many worked oh-so hard for. If a driver chooses to leave, a suspended license is the automatic punishment. If someone hits aIMG_9558 car and the owner of the damaged vehicle is not present, the person at fault MUST leave a note. “Leave your contact information and the time you hit the car. That way, you don’t get a hit and run ticket,” Fleet Said. A decent way to avoid a collision is to use the horn. Unfortunately, many people abuse and misuse it. “Often times, people use the horn out of anger or to tell someone off,” Fleet said. The actual purpose of the horn is to ‘alert someone’ when there is an emergency situation. This can be an illegal lane change, imminent collision or other scenarios that have the potential to put people in jeopardy. Many Vista students are also uncertain on right of way in the parking lot. If someone is turning in the lot, he or she must yield. “The cross traffic has to yield to the north and southbound lanes… When someone is pulling out, weather going east or west, they need to be cautious and yield right-of-way to the person that is going straight,” Fleet said.

Safety Tips

1) BUCKLE UP:

This is not an option. Seatbelts are in every car to protect passengers, in case of a collision. If the driver or passengers are caught without a seatbelt, the first offense is $25. This may be a miniscule amount of money for a punishment. However refusing seatbelts use can ultimately cost a driver his or her own life.

2) SLOW DOWN:

Especially when backing out of a parking space. Whether students are pulling out of a parking space, or already driving down a lane, he or she should slow down. Being cautious, regardless if a driver has the “right-of-way” or not is a decent way to stay safe.This is a good way to avoid collisions on the MVHS campus.

3) FOLLOW GRADUATED LICENSING LAWS:

For the first six months of having a license, a new driver is not allowed to have passengers, with exception being family members. After this period of time a driver may have ONE non-family occupant.After one year of holding a license, a person may transport as many people that there are seatbelts for. Violating this law will cost a driver two points and $50 per passenger. In other words, if a driver has had a license under six months and he or she is caught with three passengers, the penalty would be $150 and six points on his or her license. Reminder: These rules are not here to steal anyone’s fun. They are in place to protect inexperienced drivers from getting distracted on the road.

4) DEFENSIVE DRIVING:

Drive as if lives are on the line. Despite the surrounding conditions, each individual is responsible for anticipating dangerous situations and knowing how to appropriately react. By avoiding unnecessary collisions, lives, time and money can be saved.

5) ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS:

If someone is more focused behind the wheel, he or she is less likely to get into an accident. Some distractions can be cell phones, ipods, other occupants, eating and drinking. Avoid distractions and the roads will be safer for everyone.

Ask the Students!                                                                                         

Q: What is the most dramatic thing that has happened in the student parking lot? How does each student choose to practice safe driving?

A: I was almost run over by a fast driver. I always go slow in the parking lot, to be safe,” Said Sutphin, senior.

A: When I was entering the parking lot one morning, this girl in front of me quickly turned left into a parking row without looking. I was inches away from getting hit by a car,” Said Kavorkian, junior”. “I practice safe driving, by staying very cautious and focused, Kavorkian said.

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