Officials Warn Public of the Consequences of Dangerous Driving

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Officials Warn Public of the Consequences of Dangerous Driving

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21st Space Wing firefighters use a hydraulic rescue tool.

21st Space Wing firefighters use a hydraulic rescue tool.

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In Colorado Springs there have been many fatal car accidents; causes range from DUIs to texting and reckless driving. From January to June of 2018, the Colorado Springs Police Department recorded that 23 fatal car accidents occurred. 14 of the accidents were automobile related, three fatalities were motorcycle related, five fatalities were pedestrians, and one was bicycle related.

Dangerous driving has played a huge role in some accidents. This year, according to the Police Department, eight out of 23 accidents were alcohol related. Out of 14 automobile fatalities, nine victims wore their seat belts. Out of the five fatalities wherein seat belts were not used, four of the casualties were ejected from their vehicles.

In the automobile accidents, excessive speeds of over 100 miles per hour were a major factor in the fatalities. Additionally, many of the accidents reported that the driver attempted to make a turn but was not paying attention to their surroundings.

At Air Academy High School, there has been an increase of security officers in the parking lot. As AAHS students come to and from school, the administration has tried to warn them of the dangers of driving. The school has shown videos and displayed posters throughout the school to warn students against distracted driving.

At the beginning and end of the school day, security officers are out in the parking lots watching the students. Officer Jason Jenks of AAHS stated that it has not been a real problem around the school, but rather within its parking lots.

“Speed in the parking lot is probably one of the biggest problems,” said Jenks.

Officer Jenks speaks of how students are not following the restrictions that are put in place. They aren’t paying attention to the people walking in between and behind cars. As the weeks progress, the dangers of driving become more apparent throughout AAHS and Colorado Springs.

The roads can be dangerous places when attempting to guess other drivers’ reactions and intentions. Junior Kaylan Collins describes her own accounts of dangerous driving.

“On the highway I almost got cut off because this person was on their phone,” she said.

Collins believes that many of the students will not listen to warnings unless they are presented in a more effective way. She is worried that it will be too late.

“Nobody really listens to them because it is a typical thing… they don’t pay attention until the accident or something bad happens to them,” she said.

Even the students of AAHS are worried about other students driving dangerously. The threat does not change even in the parking lot at school.

The concerns have raised a lot of questions of what the school is doing to prevent these drivers from getting into accidents. Dean Julie Attias has discussed the concerns and the process she takes to ensure the students’ safety. Attias has been called to the parking lot to solve many of the problems students face.

“We’ve had a couple car accidents in the parking lot with people not paying attention when they pull out: fender benders, or people not putting their brakes on their car and it rolling…”

The consequences of dangerous driving have become more apparent throughout the school year. Students at AAHS have faced the harsh reality that driving dangerously is not appropriate and is not tolerated.

“ I always worry in the parking lot when people are coming to school, lunch, and after school because there not paying attention…” said Attias. 

Attias and the officers can issue citations and revoke students’ licenses in the event of a driving accident on school campus. The act of dangerous driving has serious consequences and will be on-record in Infinite Campus.  

As citizens of Colorado Springs, there will always be encounters of dangerous driving on the road whether it be texting, speed, and/or distraction, along with countless other dangers of driving. It is the decision of what you are going to do while driving that makes a difference. 

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