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Mayhem in lot C: Until cars gain autonomy, we have to do our part

I’ve heard people complain about the potholes, the lack of convenient space, and the precariously angled inclines. (That’s you, C building side-lot.) Here’s another one: the lack of stop signs and stop lines.

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By Mitch Huttema (The Cascade) – Email

Photo Credit Mitch HuttemaThe parking lots of UFV tend to fall into the category of “severely lacking.” I’ve heard people complain about the potholes, the lack of convenient space, and the precariously angled inclines. (That’s you, C building side-lot.) Here’s another one: the lack of stop signs and stop lines.

Last Wednesday, two students, one driving a large truck and the other a small hatchback, collided head-on. The truck was largely undamaged with only a dent in its front bumper, but the whole front end of the hatchback was destroyed. The fire department was called in, and the car was removed from the scene via a flatbed tow truck.

We know standard procedure in parking lots: drive slowly, signal, and stop at the end of each row. But these rules are rarely obeyed by the 18-to-24 year-old demographic that makes up a majority of the students at UFV. Being late for class or in a rush to get home or to work, as well as a general tiredness from sitting through lectures and classes contributes to this disobedience. When there are no clear markings prompting drivers to stop or at least to slow down significantly, situations like the accident in question are bound to occur. The lot surrounding the gym in Abbotsford is the one that is particularly bad.

The accident occurred at the intersection directly behind the Student Union Building (SUB); this intersection is completely unmarked from every direction, which I think played a role in why these two students’ cars collided.

In this case, while not seriously physically harmed, the driver of the hatchback was significantly shaken up and needed to be cared for by the firemen that arrived on scene.

As a driver on UFV campus, I too have been in many close calls in the parking lot around the gym and the SUB. When the stalls are packed and we are all racing around to find a last minute spot before we’re late for class, ripping up and down the rows and around the corners, near misses (and a few not misses) are bound to occur.

Painting lines at the end of each row won’t solve the issues, but it’s a step towards promoting responsible driving. Ultimately the solution lies with us, the late-to-class, irresponsible drivers. But to tell a student to be on time or a bad driver to just be a good one is like trying to stop the producers of the Fast and Furious series from making another movie. So UFV, take it from me: paint those lines, and at least a few drivers will feel stop-sign guilt and slow down enough to avoid an accident.

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