Driving under the good influence

Student hailed as hero for allowing car to go before its turn


Cobalt Henson

Senior Peter Hubbard receiving his award from Assistant Principal Joh Ward

Senior Peter Hubbard is being hailed as a hero after he let another driver go in front of him in the parking lot. What began as a mundane day in Hubbard’s life turned into more than he could’ve ever imagined.

“I just did what any competent driver would do in my situation,” Hubbard said. “I think more people should be aware of their surroundings and how quickly accidents can happen.”

There are usually two lines of traffic after school from each end of the lot, forcing students to merge into one line. Not only have students noticed the challenge of exiting the lot, so has Perry Township Police.

“The ideal scenario is every other car zippers into one line, but that is rarely the case at Southport,” SHS police officer Wesley Shift said. “Teenagers are easily distracted so we had to post multiple signs to direct traffic.”

Although new measures have been implemented to ease students’ experience leaving the school, little has worked.  The situation only worsened with signs at the exit telling student drivers that turning left out of the lot would result in arrests and charges. This change made student drivers more apt to rush out of the lot to avoid officers posted outside the exit after school.

“I figure they will take the opportunity to pass me when I vaguely signal that I’m going to let them through,” senior Bridgette Wells said when asked about why she’s so hesitant to let someone in front of her.

Many students have complained about the parking lot conditions with some even turning to protesting outside the PTEC building, Holding signs and shouting phrases like “left in the dust” and “students receive mixed signals.” Junior Reagan Mott has posted herself outside for the last week, gathering a small following of like-minded students.

“It’s not fair that we have to deal with bad communication and senseless signs,” said Mott. “This could just cause more accidents for all we know.”

Many students and teachers agree that Hubbard’s actions helped bring awareness to how important signs are to follow, especially when driving. This has definitely had a positive impact on the SHS community as a whole.

“I’ve never actually seen an accident yet, but with the way things are headed, one doesn’t look too far off,” Perry Township Driving Counselor Diane Ford said. “We’re so grateful for Peter and his selfless behavior because the amount of students breaking the traffic rules has increased since new measures were put in place to prevent accidents.”

Hubbard will be honored at the Indianapolis Outstanding Citizen Banquet, an event attended by a select few city residents. Held in the Indiana Government Center on Feb. 17, the banquet is comprised of a keynote speaker, a dinner and multiple guest speakers addressing the importance of teen driver awareness.

SHS administration has issued a new scholarship in Hubbard’s name, calling it the Hubbard Helpful Driver Fund. This scholarship will be awarded to students who “display outstanding motor vehicle etiquette in accordance with SHS road rules.”

“I never thought anything like this would happen to me,” Hubbard said. “I hope this will show others that driving and following the rules aren’t things to be taken lightly.”