Will Seniors Lose Driving Privileges?


Allie Ruden

Jesuit drivers struggle with speed, post-lunch rushes, and neighborhood cut-throughs.

In multiple emails to students, faculty have chastised students for reckless driving on and around the school campus. 

An email from administration on April 6 read “Senior privileges will be revoked for dangerous driving behavior,” implying that off-campus driving will be taken away if behavior continues. 

Some students have either been hit, hit someone, or witnessed extremely dangerous driving in either the Cronin parking lot, Valley Plaza, or the tennis courts parking lot. 

Junior Becca Ricci parks in Valley and although hasn’t hit or been hit, has heard about parking experiences, and also experiences delays and troubles when leaving. 

“It’s always super crowded and it takes forever to get out of there because there’s such tight spaces,” Ricci said. “The parking lots are just stressful.”

On a more serious note, senior Elizabeth Koelling has been hit twice on Jesuit parking lots and had to remedy issues with her car. 

“My parking neighbor accidentally was turning onto her spot and she hit the back edge of my car,” Koelling said. “It was kind of jarring.” 

For Koelling, liability lies within the Jesuit parking design and also with the young drivers behind the wheel. 

“For young people, there is assumed liability,” Koelling said. “You just don’t have the experience.” 

According to the CDC, “The risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher among teens ages 16–19 than among any other age group.” Teen drivers in this age group have a fatal crash rate almost three times as high as drivers ages 20 and older per mile driven.

In a few emails to Jesuit drivers, the administration stressed the importance of mindful driving, and especially for drivers to slow down. 

Chief Security Officer Cathe Kent explained that students, especially those with off campus privileges, come in quickly after lunch and cause accidents. 

Additionally, local neighbors lodged complaints about speedy driving on Whitepine Lane, the street perpendicular to Jesuit’s Cronin exit, as many students use it as a cut-through. 

“Whitepine is a residential neighborhood that doesn’t have sidewalks and there’s a lot of turns and children,” Kent said. “So there have been quite a few complaints over the years.” 

Jesuit records driving footage inside of the Cronin parking lot, but the cameras don’t extend into the neighborhood. 

Inside of Cronin, spots were widened last summer, which made spots larger but caused a decrease in spaces. Therefore, fewer seniors have spots. 

Kent clarified that a whole class of seniors has never lost their privileges as a whole, although off-campus privileges have been lost due to behavior on pilgrimage or other behavioral issues later in the year. 

“If it’s related to off campus privileges, for example, if you’ve left during flex or an assembly, you could lose your privileges,” Kent said. 

Additionally, Kent clarified that individual students can lose their privileges because of academic issues, or dangerous driving, as Jesuit security has videotapes of the lot, in case students or parents need it for insurance purposes. 

As many students transition from Valley or Tennis courts to the tightly spaced and crowded Cronin parking lot, many accidents occur in the first few months of the year. 

Senior Angela Miller waits after school to avoid the Cronin traffic, and finds that sharing information at the beginning of the year could avoid some of the issues that plague new or returning drivers. 

“I definitely think that mentioning driving at an assembly would be helpful,” Miller said.

Kent reminds students that driving slow and cautiously and creating good driving habits is crucial before entering the next phase of life.