Capt. Mark Cheatham with Acworth Police said his department issued two stop arm tickets. But public information officers with Kennesaw, Smyrna, Powder Springs and Austell police said no tickets were issued in their jurisdictions. Marietta Police could not provide data late Monday but Cobb Police wrote one citation to a 17 year-old after classes ended on Monday.
Otherwise, a spokesman with the school district credited its transportation department on getting kids to and from school safely and on time Monday and reported that it was a good first day back at school for the more than 100,000 Cobb Schools students.
“Our whole goal (Monday) was to be so visible so that every kid waiting on the bus at the bus stops saw a policeman,” Cheatham said. “We hit every single neighborhood a couple of times over.”
Acworth Police had about 10 officers patrolling the city limits and area schools. The tickets were issued to one driver in the Lake Park
subdivision off Baker Road and another in the Grove Park subdivision, not far from Lake Park on Grove Drive.
“Lake Park is our largest subdivision in the city, with over 500 homes,” he said. “The streets are very small — all two-lane — and the same thing with Grove Park.”
He did not give any details regarding the citations.
The Cobb School District has equipped 102 of its 1,120 school buses with cameras that take video and still images of drivers violating the stop arm law.
Cobb County commissioners have said they expect to reach an agreement with American Traffic Solutions of Tempe, Ariz., and Cobb Schools today that will allow them to write citations when the violations are viewed on camera.
Violators caught on video will receive a $300 fine in the mail. If a police officer personally witnesses the violation, the criminal penalty is $600 for the first offense and six points are added to one’s drivers license.
When a school bus is stopped to load or unload children, drivers traveling in both directions are required to stop. The only exception to this law is for drivers traveling in the opposite direction of the school bus on a divided highway with four or more lanes separated by a median.
Reviewing the first day of school for Cobb, spokesman Jay Dillon said there was heavy traffic in and out of Nickajack and Kennesaw elementary schools but the problems will be addressed. He added that the last year’s redistricting resulted in two or three students going to the incorrect schools but it was “easily remedied.”
He also said a few schools reported that a handful of parents dropped off unregistered children; that the initial headcounts indicates that enrollment may be up; and that while the school district is concerned about the unfinished construction at McCleskey Middle, the school opened and “looked great” Monday.
“Buses were on time (Monday) morning … so far (Monday) afternoon, no missing or misplaced students. That’s highly unusual for the first day. More kudos to transportation which implemented a new system over the past two years to ensure that all (Kindergarten through third-grade) students get off at the right bus stop,” he said.