Students feel the need to drive despite bad weather

On Tuesday December 17th, the roads were slick with snow and black ice. Throughout the day, the snow continued to fall, making it hard for drivers to see. Neither students nor parents received any formal communication urging student drivers to take the bus in place of driving themselves to school; however, when students called Superintendent Elliott Landon’s office, they were advised to take the buses to school in order to avoid accidents in their own cars.

Students said the bus was not an option for many who normally drive their cars to school.

Noa Wind ‘15 and Nick Ward ’14 said it can be difficult for people who have after-school commitments to take the bus. “Whether it is a club, a meeting, or getting extra help from a teacher, there is no bus to accommodate each specific time a student needs to get home,” Wind said.

Driving can also provide other advantages that a bus doesn’t have. “If I were to take the bus, I would need to drive to the bus stop anyway because it is so far away from my house,” Jess Riniti ’14 said. “I [also] drive because my parents are divorced, and it would be difficult for me to take two different buses while carting my stuff around.”

Others feel that students who are allowed to drive should simply have the right to do so.

“A student’s ability to drive to school is a freedom and a right,” Wind said.

“I think kids who drive to school get so used to having this luxury that they almost just count out the option of taking the bus,” Nick Vega ’14 said.

“Why should a senior have to take a bus when they have their own car? No one wants to be the only senior on a bus,” Ward said.

Despite Landon’s advisory, some students still feel that their own car is the safest place to be on dangerous roads; they agree that if the roads are not safe enough for students’ cars, then they shouldn’t be driven on at all.

“If the superintendent thinks buses are safe to drive and teachers are safe to drive, then that’s him saying that I’m safe to drive,” Melissa Beretta ’14 said. “If it’s not safe enough for me to drive my car, then we shouldn’t be in school.”

“Taking the bus, an automobile that does not have seatbelts, does not seem to be a safe option,” Maddy Rozynek ’14 said. “The safest option would be avoiding going on the roads whatsoever.”

Ward also agreed that he trusts his own driving skills more than a bus driver’s.

“I would say that it’s very reasonable to say [to just take the buses] in essence, but in reality, I think we need to acknowledge that a major part of student transportation is by car,” Vega said.

Inklings contacted Landon through e-mail asking if he would elaborate on the necessity for some people to drive in bad weather, but he did not respond.