High school road rage

OlivianewHave you ever seen an accident? Have you witnessed a fender bender? What about seeing someone being dangerously cut off at a light? I’ve definitely seen my fair share of problems with the driving around Castro Valley High School.

I am appalled by the driving habits of people I see every day in Castro Valley. First off, I see students without licenses driving to school each day. Plus, many of them have other teenage passengers. The law says drivers under 18 are not allowed to drive with minors without an adult present, until they’ve had their license for one year. Even worse, some of these students don’t even have their permit yet, showing clearly that their parents don’t care about their child’s safety.

Every day I see reckless driving, especially around CVHS. For example, I see drivers running red lights, not stopping at stop signs, speeding, driving on the wrong side of the road, not yielding to the driver with the right of way… and I’m just getting started.

The parents are no better than the students. I’ve seen practicing students with parents in the passenger seat run stop signs, cut people off, and drive recklessly. The parents show no reaction, which seems to imply that they weren’t aware that anything wrong had happened. This is mainly because their parents drive this exact same way, keeping the cycle going.

In the parking lots of the high school, there is a great amount of road rage. Students use horns unnecessarily, give profane hand gestures, burn rubber, purposely tailgate behind friends’ cars, and shout profanities at other drivers. Granted, some of this may just be fun and games, but what’s the joy of accidently hitting your friend’s car when you were just trying to fool around?

It’s not just students who are causing the issue. One day I was waiting to get picked up when I witnessed a teacher back out of his parking spot. While backing out, he swung too wide and side-swept the car next to him, leaving a huge scratch. This teacher didn’t even take notice and drove off.

Drivers create a lot of traffic issues in the parking lots as well. Making U-turns in inappropriate areas, not stopping when making a right hand turn on a red light, backing out of parking spots without scanning around and behind their vehicle, parking in the driving lane, and letting students out of the car in red zones or in the middle of the street cause traffic problems.

The best example I can think of is by the stadium on Redwood Road. The parking lot is only big enough for two lanes going opposite directions, but parents continuously park in one of the lanes. Parents do this so they don’t have to park to wait for their lagging child, but this also creates a huge blockage.

As I have been observing other drivers for a while now, I believe that this problem is growing worse every day. Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone slowed down a little, paid better attention, and drove according to the laws?

We need at least one policeman patrolling the area at the time of release. I’ve seen the impact of an empty police vehicle, so what would be the impact of a patrolling one? We need to change the way people drive around the high school and a police car would definitely help calm down the crazy driving.

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