The Uproar

Turn for the Worse

A shortcut taken by student drivers on their way to school proves extremely risky

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Turn for the Worse

photo by Nate Stetson

photo by Nate Stetson

photo by Nate Stetson

Anjana Suresh and Somya Thakur

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Driving to school is a normal part of many students’ morning routines at North Allegheny. However, some young drivers have the unfortunate luck of driving north on 19 to get to school, facing heavy traffic as they turn left into NASH.

Students are often frustrated with this predicament. Rather than wait at the stoplight for several minutes, some drivers decide to make a left turn into the Totin’s parking lot, passing the back parking lot of NASH on their way into school, in order to pull around and enter the NASH campus southbound at the tennis courts entrance. This is a major cause for concern to Officer Ray and the NASH administration.

Ray approached The Uproar staff, citing that there had already been twelve accidents in the vicinity of the left turn this school year. “I think at some point we’re going to have something more serious happen in that location,” he indicated, concerned about a possible fatality in the future.

I think at some point we’re going to have something more serious happen in that location.”

— Officer Ray

Ray invited us to stand near the site as students arrived at school on Monday before break, and a total of 101 cars were counted making the turn that morning. That was actually a record-low number, according to the School Resource Officer, who has previously counted upwards of 200 cars making that dangerous turn.

We were able to stop two students in their cars to ask them why they decided to risk several safety measures and not wait at the light instead. They simply responded by saying, “It’s faster.”

In fact, we did find that belief to be false. The oncoming traffic traveling down Route 19 forced some students making the turn to wait up to four or five minutes in the Totin’s (or nearby Ducati Service) parking lot — around the same amount of time students typically wait at the light. We observed one car, even more desperate to avoid the backup, travel in the oncoming lane for a few seconds before entering the Totin’s lot.

“It was a poor decision on their part to make [the left turn],” Officer Ray noted. “It is actually a citable offense. Thirteen students have been cited for making the left turn violation as of today.”

The traffic light was often green whenever students would wait to make a turn into the BMW lot, which led us and Officer Ray to believe some students were just making the turn just because others were.

“Juniors do have a tendency to pick up some of the bad driving habits from the seniors,” Ray added.

At the end of our stay with Officer Ray, the School Resource Officer emphasized students to ask themselves whether they think it really is worth it to risk their lives just to get to school “faster.”

About the Writers
Anjana Suresh, Junior Class Co-Editor

Anjana Suresh is a junior at NASH. Originally from Michigan, she moved to Pittsburgh in 2014. She is a part of the NA Rowing team and has been involved...

Somya Thakur, Social Media Director

Somya Thakur is a junior at North Allegheny Senior High. Somya loves to listen to a large variety of music, especially movie soundtracks. She is a part...

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Turn for the Worse