Keep a watchful eye on young commuters
Getting to school should be the least of a student's worries. Many of us take the bus, get a ride from our friends or parents, or even drive ourselves. However, recent events have shown that this simple daily task can prove fatal.
In 2018, from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, five children were killed at their respective bus stops, CNN reported.
On Oct. 30, a 9-year-old and her 6-year-old twin brothers were struck and killed by a 24-year-old driver in a pickup while crossing the street to their bus stop in Indiana. On Halloween, a 9-year-old was hit by a 22-year-old driver in Mississippi as he crossed the road to board his bus. In Florida, a 19-year-old driver struck and injured a kindergartener who was crossing the street to get on his bus. On Nov.1, a 7-year-old boy was found dead on the side of the road in Pennsylvania after being run over by a slow-moving vehicle.
In addition, there were even more injuries on each of these days that I haven't touched on at all. At least seven other children and two adults were injured in various incidents around the U.S. over these three days.
As I read about these incidents, one thing stuck out to me: The drivers involved in these incidents were young. These drivers — 19, 22 and 24 — were responsible for the deaths of very young children.
While these accidents may make students even more cautious around cars while they board buses, it should make teen drivers even more alert and careful. Being 16 and being behind the wheel can be new and exciting, but it also comes with a lot of responsibility.
Many teenagers like to go a few miles over the speed limit, drink their Dutch Bros coffee and blare their music. That can be fun, but it's unsafe — not only for the driver but, as proven above, for anyone who shares the road. We should be even more cautious than regular drivers, since we're new to the roads and less experienced.
Teenagers are usually on the road at the same time that school buses are — we drive to school while the buses are on their routes and we drive home as the buses are taking students home. This should push students to drive extra cautiously, as there are extra pedestrians out and even more things to take into account.
As unfair as it is, students riding the bus should also be even more cautious than they already are. There are so many oblivious drivers on the road, completely in their own world, who aren't looking for bus riders being out and about. It shouldn't be a student's job to have to be the responsible adult in a situation like this — that should be the driver — but, in light of recent events, cars can be unpredictable and unsafe.
So I ask every driver of Wilsonville to be extra cautious on their morning commute. Please look out for us students on our way to school. Our lives depend on it.
Alyson Johnston is a junior at Wilsonville High School.