by The Warrior Staff
Every day during the first week of school, there was at least one car accident caused by Sherwood students. Collisions all took place on Route 108 as students turned left out of school or within a two-mile radius of Sherwood at the end of the school day.
One possible cause for the frequency of car crashes is the abundance of vehicles in the parking lot after the dismissal bell rings. Rather than sending them on the bus, many parents are picking up their children from school due to Covid-19 concerns. Many of these parents use the back student parking lot instead of the designated pickup loop at the front of the school. This causes unnecessary congestion to an already chaotic lot that has many inexperienced drivers rushing home.
Making matters worse, the Covid-era Maryland driver’s license tests only involves parking, with no on-road assessment. As a result, Sherwood drivers may not have the skills to navigate an active road, much less a bustling and crowded school parking lot.
An announcement made September 8 by Assistant Principal Stephanie Gelfand acknowledged the frequency of collisions in the first week and advised students to drive slower and with more caution. Administration then took further precautions by telling students to report if any parents cut off student drivers in the back lot. However, this has not deterred parents from using the back lot. Parents also do not see or choose to ignore the current signs around the parking lot directing them to the pickup loop.
Administration sent out new rules for parent pickup September 12, but it may not be enough. In the newsletter, the announcement read that parents must wait until 2:40, when the buses leave, to enter Sherwood property to pick up their children. They also reinforced to parents that they must use the pickup loop at the front of the school. However, students continue to experience major traffic jams well past the time when the buses leave. For this new policy to be more effective, there needs to be security enforcing that parents do not enter Sherwood property until the designated time, and at 2:40, strictly the parent pickup loop is used.
It is also important that students are aware of their surroundings and acknowledge that not everyone is following traffic rules while in and exiting the parking lot. If parents and students both do their part, there will be less accidents and driving issues on and off Sherwood property.