Student drivers should not be forced to sacrifice class time for a few impatient adults
Maryland State Troopers dotted the student parking lot and the University Blvd driveway on Oct 10, their sights turned to scanning the road for suspicious cars or possible snipers. Much to the chagrin of the 24-car-long line, the presence of these imposing law enforcers did not deter parents and student drivers from repeatedly committing basic moving violations. A red Toyota slammed on its brakes as it was cut off by a student driver eager to claim his place in the growing line of vehicles and anxious to get to class on time, a prospect that faded for the rest of the waiting student drivers with each passing minute. Amid this chorus of honks was Security Guard Harry Wacke, impatiently instructing parent after parent to drop off their students and exit the driveway.
This daily scene—sans the police—has been the broken record of Blair traffic for five years. Last year, Blair's administration's pleas for common sense and consideration for pedestrian safety met deaf ears in the Blair driving community. In order to force Blair students and parents to listen, we must take decisive steps to regulate the parking situation once and for all. Blair's administration should impose a $10 fine on students and parents who break the rules.
Blair's unfortunate location at the intersection of three major thoroughfares—University Blvd, Colesville Road and the Capital Beltway—poses a challenge to many Blair drivers on their morning commute. But we have to accept the challenge and be particularly safe. Now, parents must take responsibility for their actions in the morning, because Blazers cannot continue to sacrifice class time every day for the convenience of a few rule-breaking parents.
Senior Amy Scheer, who says the line of cars makes her late to school almost every day, agrees that enough is enough. "There have been days when I've gotten to school at 7:15, and I still won't be getting into class until 7:30," she explains. "It would definitely not be a problem if parents didn't drop off their kids [on the University side]." Scheer fears that her chronic lateness will cause her to lose credit in her morning classes, an outcome that she says she absolutely cannot accept.
Blair security can easily identify cars that do not belong in the University Blvd driveway, but currently, all security can do is give parents a verbal warning when they drop off their child on the University side. And words are insufficient, says Wacke. He sees repeat offenders almost every day, many of whom have no remorse for their violations. "Parents think, ‘My kid's going to school, so I can do anything I want.' Well, that's not so," he affirms.
To correct this disregard for Blair regulations, the administration should implement a zero-tolerance policy for parents who chronically bring their children to the University lot. Security should be empowered to take the ID number of any student caught in violation and charge fines to families of students who are frequent offenders. Parents will adjust to the few extra minutes it takes to get to the Colesville Road lot if they have to start paying obligations for their indiscretion.
Selfish parents need to be held accountable, and Blair must take a stand and toughen its policies, especially when the safety and education of student drivers and walkers are at stake.
L.A. Holmes. L.A. Holmes is a SENIOR!! ('03 Baby!) in the Communication Arts Program. L.A. currently reigns as Managing Opinions and Editorials Editor of <i>Silver Chips</i> with her dear friend, Rachel Yood, and she is the first in <i>Silver Chips</i> history to hold the hotly contested and … More »