The Dangers of the Harriton Parking Lot

Safety has always been a priority at Harriton High School. However, by the fourth day of the new school year, there have already been at least three small car accidents in the student parking lot. For some, each incident is only a small annoyance, while others regard the crashes as completely unimportant.

This brings up the question, is the parking lot, the one so many of us drive everyday, safe?

The administration grants many juniors and seniors the privilege to park their cars in the student parking lot. This year, Mr. Ferguson, our athletics/activities director, is in charge of what goes on with student drivers. He sells all the parking passes and makes sure all cars parked in the lot have that pass. In the Harriton student handbook, there is information about student parking in addition to a list of rules. This list is also present on the sheet that has to be turned in and signed in order to get a parking pass. Here is a friendly reminder of what driving in Harriton’s student lot entails:

Traffic Rules

1. The Bus Loop is off limits to all traffic except school buses during the morning drop off and afternoon pick up times.

2. There shall be no passing at any time on school property.

3. No vehicle shall proceed against traffic at any time.

4. Students may not go to their cars during the school day without a car pass.

5. Cars must be parked in a designated parking space. Diagonal parking across spaces is prohibited

6. Students are to park in the area designated for student parking only.

7. Dropping off and picking up students at the beginning or end of school should be done at the appropriate parking lot.

Although this list is somewhat helpful, students are not provided with information on how to handle a crash that happens on school property. The student handbook states, “The driver or owner of the car is responsible for the car. The school is not responsible for damage to the car on the lot. Please keep cars locked. A school district campus aide monitors the parking lots throughout the day as a precautionary measure to maintain a safe school environment.” With this in mind, students do not bother involving administration when dealing with problems in the parking lot.

It is commonly accepted that, as new drivers, many students make small mistakes when behind the wheel of a car. Interestingly, this inexperience has not been too big of an issue at Harriton in the past. So, what is creating the increase in accidents? Many students believe that it is just the rush to get out of school at the end of the day. Senior Ali Driben says, “We, as inexperienced drivers, need to be more careful.  Hopefully when parking passes start getting checked, things will mellow out”. Errol Koenig, a senior who was rear-ended during the first week of school, cautions that, “everyone needs to be careful in the parking lot, especially during the first few weeks of school to avoid more problems.” There is no clear answer as to why these fender benders are occurring. The only thing to do now is try to prevent it in the future and learn how to handle an accident if it happens.

If you have any questions about parking in the Harriton student lot contact Mr.Ferguson at [email protected] or stop by his office. Also, make sure you know how to handle yourself if your car is hit. Talk to your parents about the proper actions to take. Just remember to be cautious to avoid the dangers of driving in the Harriton student lot.