FULTON COUNTY – As schools settle in for another year, Fulton County districts and police departments are reminding everyone to be mindful of buses, walkers and bikers.
Fulton County Sheriff Richard Giardino said they always step up patrols around the beginning of the school year.
“We used to have a speed radar machine that we put out–that’s in disrepair,” he said. “We haven’t had the funds to order a new one.”
So, he said they will have more patrols out to ensure drivers are stopping for buses and kids are able to safely get to school.
He also said some districts have their own radar machines and some districts have buses with cameras which can identify cars and drivers that don’t obey laws for school buses.
But overall, Giardino said they anticipate an uptick in complaints as people have to remind themselves that schools are back in session.
Gloversville Superintendent David Halloran said they haven’t had many issues in the past with student safety getting to and from school. This year the district is paying $23,000 toward two additional crossing guards through the city and also sharing funding with the city for a full time school resource officer to ensure student safety, Halloran said.
Over in the Greater Johnstown School District changes were made to the drop-off and pick up location to create a safer space for students. The new location will be in a parking lot between Warren Street and the Junior/Senior High School, according to the district.
On top of changing the location teachers and staff are placed around the perimeter of the property during dismissal, which helps not only monitor students behaviors but allows for an adult presence for cars traveling in the area, said Robert Kraemer, the Warren Street Elementary School principal.
The district also said it utilizes city-employed crossing guards and the district said that Johnstown Police officers are often present during dismissal.
Because the district also sees a lot of students that ride bikes to school they strongly encourage those students to not be reckless while biking and to wear helmets, even providing them if needed.
The state Department of Transportation used its social media accounts Wednesday to remind drivers that no matter what lane you are driving in or what direction you are going when a bus is flashing its lights you have to stop.
Kraemer said the biggest thing that people can do is remain mindful that school is back in session.
“Regardless, if you have a student attending school or not, drive as if every student you see is your own,” he said.