You just got your license, and what are you most excited to do? Drive yourself to School! Passing your test at the DMV is a rite of passage, so all licensed girls should be able to drive themselves to School. Although juniors and seniors are the only students who can drive to School according to the Student Handbook and the School’s Conditional Use Permit with the city, many sophomores are licensed and eager to practice their driving skills. We at the UltraViolet think that the driving rules should be changed to include tenth graders.
New sophomores pass the same DMV test as other upperclassmen. While sophomores have had less driving experience, they are not necessarily worse drivers than the juniors and seniors. Plus, these girls will improve with practice, so allowing them to drive to School in 10th Grade will allow them to improve at driving for their upcoming commuting years behind the wheel.
Driving to School is much more convenient than relying on your parents or the bus. You can go to your sports practices and games and not worry about your parents being late to pick you up afterwards. You can go to your dance rehearsals and not be concerned about wasting time waiting for your ride home because your teacher let you leave 20 minutes early. You can go where you need to go on your own schedule while not having to rely on anyone else, teaching you to be responsible and to hold yourself accountable for your actions.
Not being able to drive forces you to lose valuable homework time, because the bus can add almost 20 minutes to your commute. If you live on the Westside, the bus ride can take 50 minutes, but the drive is only 35. Those extra 15 minutes make a big difference as far as work goes. Being able to come and go as you please makes life much easier, so why should this privilege be denied to girls who are capable, licensed drivers? If a girl shouldn’t be driving on her own then she wouldn’t have her license. She passed the test, so she deserves to drive. Period.
Although the driving restrictions were imposed on Marlborough by the city to limit traffic in the neighborhood, another cause may be the somewhat limited parking available on campus. However, limited parking is an issue that will occur in the real world—especially in Los Angeles—so we might as well get used to it. There are actually numerous areas open to student parking, such as the Rossmore Parking Lot, the first level of the garage and, as a last resort, Arden Boulevard, on the west side of the street between 2nd and 3rd Streets. If we can’t fit all of the cars in these three locations, students should start carpooling or sophomores should only be allowed to drive to school if they have two other people in the car. Already, girls who drive carpools regularly are allowed preferred, reserved parking spaces, but few girls know about this policy. The School should better promote carpooling as a way to go green and as a method of opening up parking spaces.
We think that allowing sophomores the privilege of driving to School would steer Marlborough in the right direction. We would most likely end up helping the environment through carpools and reducing stress by allowing the sophomores to travel more conveniently.