Madison Township concerned about school buses in Blacklick Estates

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Allegations of Groveport Madison school buses speeding on streets in Blacklick Estates prompted a school district administrator and a transportation company representative to explain the bus system to the Madison Township trustees on Oct. 18.

“We do periodically receive reports that buses are speeding,” said Groveport Madison Schools Assistant Superintendent John Hurd.

Hurd said buses are electronically monitored and, if they exceed 5 mph over a posted speed limit, a report is automatically generated and sent to Peterman Transportation Director Antawn Sidbeery.

If it is determined a driver was speeding, they receive a verbal warning for the first offense. If they are caught a second time, they are given a written reprimand. For the third offense, they are required to take time off.

“We asked the office to do a spot check and two came back running in excess of the (posted) speed,” said Hurd. “It was the same driver on two different routes.

“Obviously, we want to stay ahead of the problem,” Hurd said when told by township trustee Ed Dildine the township received reports of buses speeding on Harbor Boulevard.

Hurd said the system is not perfect and discrepancies were discovered between what speed limit was input in the program and the actual posted speed limit.

Township trustee Victor Paini told Hurd and Sidbeery they “need to do a better job of making sure the system is accurate.”

In one instance, the system listed the speed limit for Long Road as 35 mph when the posted speed was 25 mph.

“Since it was brought up initially, we make sure the calibration is correct,” said Hurd.

Firefighters for Kids toy drive

Retired Madison Township firefighter John Jones reported on the upcoming county-wide Firefighters for Kids toy drive. He said over 5,700 families with more than 17,000 kids were served in 2016.

“Last year, we gave out 400 to 500 bikes to kids,” said Jones. “There’s a lot more need now. Most of the people we serve are very thankful and we have a good time. It’s as much a benefit to us as it is to the recipient.”

Donations of new, unwrapped toys can be dropped off at any Franklin County Fire Station starting in November and up until Christmas Eve.

Township sign-ups for those in need will be held at Fire Station 181 on Hamilton Road across from Groveport-Madison High School from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2, from 9-11:30 a.m. and 12:30-3 p.m.

Recipients must live in the Canal Winchester or Groveport Madison school districts. To sign-up, parents or guardians must show proof of need, such as SNAP or HEAP, and bring a photo ID, birth ID for the child and, if applicable, custody papers. Social Security cards will not be accepted as identification.

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