Reckless Driving In Parking Deck Shows No Signs of Slowing


Olivia Chewning

Reckless Wreck: Junior James Brewer simulates what a reckless driver in their car would look like, prowling the jungles of the parking deck.

Engines rev and tires squeal as all sorts of cars, from Hyundai Sonatas to Jeep Wranglers, accelerate up the floors of the parking deck. Red lights flash as students slam on the brakes to avoid collision. If you are one of the many students who drive to school, you have probably experienced the infamous reckless driving that occurs in the school parking deck every day in the morning and after school during dismissal.

In spite of the severity of the consequences for breaking the rules, there are still plenty of students getting in touch with their inner race car drivers in the deck. One of the more common reasons given for this action was that students don’t want to be late in the morning and want to get home faster after school. Some teen drivers at North Atlanta have driven at speeds 10 or 15 miles over the usual parking lot limit. “I’d say I usually hit 25 or 30 mph when I’m running late,” said one senior.  

If you have been in the parking deck, you have probably experienced the fear of getting hit while trying to get to your car in the afternoons. Getting to your vehicle without becoming roadkill is definitely a skill at which many students have become experts. One interviewed junior said he’s become a veteran of the not-so-fun game of Frogger. “People are afraid of me, so they don’t hit me,” he said sarcastically. “It’d be like hitting a brick wall.”

One might expect students to be secretive or even embarrassed about this dangerous habit, but many don’t see it as a problem. In fact, many student drivers view other students driving the appropriate speed as the real issue. For them, speeding is a fun pastime, with those going the normal limit ruining the enjoyment. “Reckless driving gets my adrenaline pumping,” said one junior. “I roll up to my spot near my squad with my tunes blasting to impress the boys along the way.”

This dangerous pastime has become such a prevalent issue that administration has been working on ways to decrease the amount of reckless driving that occurs in the parking deck. There remain plans to put speed bumps on each floor and there’s been a recent move to have a security guard on the deck in hopes of minimizing dangers.  

While most students realize the widespread nature of the issue, many choose to continue their reckless behavior anyway. It is clear that the issue of reckless driving is a major one, but whether it will show any signs of slowing down remains to be seen.