School buses should have dash cameras for safety

Dear Editor,

I dropped off my middle school student this morning (Oct. 15, as I do everyday. On the way back, I was traveling on East John Hand Road where I had a green light to continue straight over Main Street onto West John Hand Road.

I was already in the intersection when a school bus traveling from West John Hand whipped the school bus in front of me while making a left hand turn onto Main Street towards Wal-Mart. I slammed on the brakes to keep from hitting the bus and hurting school children and possibly myself. My car came to a screeching halt in the middle of Main Street, and I gave a delayed honk. I was upset.

When I arrived home a little over three minutes later- adrenaline still rushing through my veins- I googled the number for the Bus Barn and called. The gentleman who answered the phone listened to me. I was upset and scared that I could have hurt or killed children because of the bus driver's mistake. I got a little laugh because I did not get the bus number. What was I supposed to do? Whip my car around in the middle of the intersection and follow the bus?

Without the bus number, I was told that they could do nothing. I gave the general time within a minute and the direction the bus was traveling and they still could do nothing.

I am utterly amazed that buses are equipped with inside cameras to check and make sure students are being appropriate, but the school system cannot afford car cams to monitor events that could actually physically harm or kill our children. I did some research and found dash cameras on a bus can cost less than $100, while multiple inside bus cameras can cost extensively more. This is a small price to pay for our children's and lives, the public, and the bus driver's record.

I think that vehicles that belong to city, county, and state governments should have dash cams to be able to protect not only citizens but workers as well. It is in the best interest of all. I think it is a better solution than looking at vehicle numbers, tags, or phone numbers printed on the side of cars.


Michelle Beckman


Farm Bureau encouraging voters to earn about the candidates

Dear Editor,

On Nov. 6, Georgians will elect our next governor. Georgia’s governor holds a lot of power. Our governor determines state appropriations and which bills the Georgia General Assembly passes become law.

Georgia’s governor is responsible for appointing more than 1,000 positions throughout state government. A few of these positions include director of the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, commissioner of the Department of Natural Resources, commissioner of the Department of Transportation, and executive director of the Forestry Commission. The governor also appoints state judicial vacancies and any vacancies in Georgia’s U.S. Congressional delegation.

Georgia’s next governor will steer the direction our state takes on issues affecting our rural communities such as education, health care, rural infrastructure, broadband access and economic development. Decisions made on state policy, regulation and leadership extend beyond the tenure of any one official. Agriculture and rural Georgia are especially vulnerable to decisions made on tax policy, natural resources and regulatory oversight.

I encourage all farmers and registered voters in our county to research both candidates for governor. Learn where each candidate stands on the issues that will impact your farm and our rural communities.

Georgia Farm Bureau has developed a website – - designed to help voters get to know the candidates. I found the website to be a helpful source of information. It includes video interviews with each candidate and their written responses to questions the organization asked about agricultural and rural issues. The site can also help voters find their local voting precinct.

Please take your civic duty seriously and vote Nov. 6. You have the chance to impact Georgia’s future.


James Casey, President of the Polk County Farm Bureau


Thanks to PCSO for calling program

Dear Editor,

It happens every evening at 6.

The phone rings. Old Emma answers and a kind male voice asks “Are you O.K.? This is your “Are you O.K?” service.”

Emma smiles, hangs up the phone and settles back in her wheel chair to catch the evening news. Somebody cared. Somebody checked to see if she had survived another day.

No, the call was not from a family member or a member of the church across the street. It was from The Polk County Sheriff’s Department in Cedartown. That incredible service is available every day to any senior who asks to be put on the Department’s list.

Question: If family members and local churches were doing their jobs would the Sheriff’s Department be checking daily on old people who live alone?


Elizabeth Andrews, Cedartown

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