On Tuesday, I dropped to my knees in the Staples Tennis parking lot in complete shock and dismay at the calamity that lay before me. I had heard stories and warnings from those who had faced similar events prior, but I never thought it would happen to me. My baby, my pride and joy, had become a casualty. A junior had scraped the front bumper of my car.
After speaking with friends, I found out that these accidents were all too common in Staples parking lots. Three weeks before my collision, my friend Tate had the front of his car shorn off completely by another student, totaling the car. Aside from Tate, many of my friends have had similar accidents to mine.
The consensus among everyone I spoke to was that, given the number of new drivers, accidents were inevitable in the Staples parking lots.
I disagree, however, that these accidents come solely from the inexperience of student drivers. Students face several roadblocks when driving at Staples, which make parking lots significantly less safe and accidents more likely.
One of these roadblocks is the juniors who park in seniors-only parking lots rather than parking along Wakeman Farm Drive. Oftentimes, these scenarios are viewed simply as inconveniences, but juniors parking in seniors-only parking lots make them less safe. First, most of the time, juniors are less experienced drivers than seniors, meaning that they are more prone to cause accidents. Second, taking someone’s spot forces people to park where they normally wouldn’t, which can make parking and backing out more difficult. Tate, for example, was forced to park in a normally vacant spot since a junior had taken his. The driver in the next parking spot then had trouble getting out and drove through the front of Tate’s car.
Juniors aren’t the only scourge on the senior parking lots, as lazy parents are also an issue. While parents don’t park at senior-only parking lots in the morning, some parents choose to skip the pick-up line after school and like to park along the edges of the tennis parking lot. My current parking space is often blocked from backing out by the cars of slothful parents, who I must then wait for in fear of hitting them. I have seen multiple near misses of students backing out towards these illegally parked cars and multiple near misses from these same parents cutting off student drivers to beat the buses.
While Staples has implemented parking lot security, it is evident that these officers aren’t enough to stop juniors and parents from parking in senior parking lots. Despite these officers routinely giving tickets to those who park where they shouldn’t, juniors continue to park in senior spots and get away with it. Additionally, parents are unaffected by these officers as they park in senior parking lots just before school ends, well after these officers have made their rounds. To reduce these issues, enforcement of parking regulations should be increased. This would entail more parking lot security active during school hours and more security around the parking lots to prevent parents from illegally parking until most of the cars leave.
I am a new driver, as is everyone who parks in the Staples parking lots. Accidents inevitably happen with inexperienced drivers, so parking should be made as easy as possible for us. These issues are compounding variables that make the parking lots even more unsafe and accidents more likely. Juniors and parents should not be able to park in parking lots meant for seniors during and just after school hours, making them unsafe in the process. I do not want to see another car become a casualty.