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Cobb increases enforcement after student hit by car | News

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Cobb increases enforcement after student hit by car
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KENNESAW, Ga. -- A 12-year-old boy is recovering with a broken arm after being hit by a car on his way to school.

Police say the seventh grader attends Palmer Middle School and had decided to walk that day.

The boy ran across Shiloh Road, believing all the traffic had stopped, but a woman -- trying to skip the long line of traffic -- cut into the center lane and hit him.

"It really hit me in the gut because this has been a concern for a year and half now, ever since they widened this road," said Michelle Barrett, who saw the accident while walking her son to the school Wednesday morning.

Police say the driver was cited in this accident. The woman happened to be a teacher at the middle school.

Neighbors say Shiloh Road turns into a parking lot during the morning commute. They were originally grateful when two years ago the road was widened to add a middle turn lane. But instead of being used to get in and out of neighborhoods, some say its become an expressway for those trying to bypass traffic and get to the left hand turn lane at Wooten Lake Road up ahead.

"I don't know if the roads can be marked differently, more signs are needed, more police presence or all of the above. I don't know," said Barrett. But she wants something done.

On Thursday, Cobb County police promise to step up their presence, going after drivers who try to jump the traffic jam. 11Alive also took Barrett's concerns to the district's Transportation Director, Rick Grisham.

He says the district has 122 stop arm cameras, but more than 900 buses. They try to rotate the cameras to the areas that need it most. While a stop arm camera would have done nothing to prevent Wednesday morning's accident, it should deter people from passing stopped school buses, another neighborhood safety concern.

Grisham agreed to add the camera to the route on Thursday. He says in just two years, the district has seen violations go down from 1,800 a day to 900 and hopes stepped up enforcement will help ease concerns here too.

A Cobb County School bus caught in the traffic jam did happen to catch the accident on its video recorder. On the tape you see the student walk behind the bus and between another car. Grisham says there's a warning in it for everyone.

"Slow it down, stop for our students and students please get to a corner to cross," said Grisham.

On Thursday, police promise to step up their presence – going after drivers who try to jump the traffic jam. And the district's transportation director says the school bus on Shiloh Road will get a stop arm camera to catch those that fail to stop.

"What we're going to do immediately tomorrow is take ... that camera bus on their to see if we're seeing violations, cut this down," he said.

Barrett said Shiloh is a popular road for Kennesaw State University (KSU) students, so traffic will get even worse when school starts next week.

On Thursday, police promise to step up their presence – going after drivers who try to jump the traffic jam. And the district's transportation director says the school bus on Shiloh Road will get a stop arm camera to catch those that fail to stop.

"What we're going to do immediately tomorrow is take, thanks to you coming out and talking to us, take that camera bus on their to see if we're seeing violations, cut this down," he said.

Barrett said Shiloh is a popular road for KSU students, so traffic will get even worse when school starts next week.

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