Reckless Driving Leads to Parking Incidents On Campus
Parking lots closer to campus fill up first and tend to be overcrowded. (Photo: Amanda M. Gordon)
No one has more road rage than students trying to get to class or leave WCC. A lot of students on campus drive, which can cause a lot of traffic, and even accidents in parking lots or the entrances and exits of campus. Starting in January of this year, there has been a total of 83 traffic accidents on campus.
Of these accidents 39 of them have been cause since the opening of the fall semester. With this information, approximately 46 percent of accidents were caused in the span of just over half a semester.
The rate at which accidents happen have dropped significantly over time however. September was the worst month this year accounting for 20 accidents, 14 in October, and five so far for the month of November.
“I believe the drop in numbers is a result of increased enforcement of speeding and stop sign regulations, and the campus population getting to work or class earlier and finding available parking in lots further away from their destination”says Current acting Director of Security, David Bowen.
Bowen would advise students who are in search of parking to use the larger lots, like lot 11. Bowen noted that there is ample parking in the lots that are farther from campus.
“I’ve seen students wait up to 20 minutes for a parking spot,” said Bowen, who continued to say that students will navigate one parking lot in search of a close spot to park. The more time that is spent behind the wheel, the more likely an accident can occur.
Some students however, believe that a proper solution would be to add additional parking lots on campus.
“Honestly, it’s a 50 50 of good or bad parking on campus,” says WCC Student Chris Kogh. “Personally, I would like to see more parking lots, maybe two more, but that might just be me.”
A lot of times there are drivers who are careless either while parking, backing up, or looking for a space. There have been instances where they have hit someone else’s car due to lack of attention.
“We got a lot of people that are not paying attention,” Bowen said. “In the parking lot, it’s a circus.” The carelessness isn’t just a problem from students, but faculty and staff as well.
Elena Rodriguez, a student at WCC who also drives herself to school, has witnessed careless driving on campus before.
“My main concern with driving on campus is that somebody will hit my car or I’ll hit them accidentally because everyone’s always driving so recklessly around the parking lot,” Rodriguez said.
People don’t always follow the student guide book, let alone the parking regulations, which states that “all students and staff must get parking decals at the Security Office” in order to park their cars on campus. In addition, those who violate this policy, or have been involved in a hit and run, are subject to disciplinary action.
The procedure would follow the order of a written statement of the charges against the individual, a impartiatial conference or hearing with a member of administration, followed by rights to attend the official hearings, provide a written statement for the final outcome and the right to appeal the final decision.
There are cameras in the parking lot, which can either confirm or deny the statement of someone involved in a fender bender. Of the reported 18 hit and runs that have taken place on campus since September, half of the perpetrators have been identified and have gone through or begun the procedure.
“I’ve got a lot of scratches on my car,” said WCC student Giulianna Vecchio. This is her first semester on campus, but her car has seen some damage starting from orientation back in August. “It sucks because you never know who did it.”
Those who drive on campus should be more aware when driving to prevent traffic build-up or any accidents in the future. Thus far, Bowen says that WCC has been “very fortunate” because no major collision has taken place, but with reckless driving it may only be a matter of time.