Student Hit Walking To School, Parents Asking For Change

September 19, 2012 Updated Oct 10, 2013 at 3:54 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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September 19, 2012 Updated Oct 10, 2013 at 3:54 PM EDT

CHEEKTOWAGA, NY (WKBW-TV) - Cuts in state aid have many school districts scrambling to meet their budgets and some are making up the difference by cutting bus service. More kids are having to walk to school, and one parent believes it's only a matter a time before a student is seriously hurt.

At 8:05 Wednesday morning a 5th grader was struck by a car while crossing Maryvale Road heading to school with the assistance of a crossing guard. She is recovering at Women and Children's Hospital with non life threatening injuries.

"i sent my girls to school they had to walk and within 10 minutes I got a phone call that somebody was struck by a car because a parent ran a red light," said concerned parent Amy Mutton. "My heart dropped it could have been one of my children that was hit."

Mutton has three kids in the school district and says a number of changes this year led to more students walking instead of taking the bus. She says the district changed the start times for all students with the younger kids beginning class earlier.

"We asked all the superintendents we asked at the board meetings is transportation going to be affected by this. The answer was no," Mutton says.

But two weeks prior to school starting each of them received a letter saying students in pre-k through 2nd will be provided busing, students in grades 3 through 5 living less than seven tenths of a mile and students in grade 6 through 12 living less than one mile must walk to school.
Mutton says that's not acceptable.

"They use to take the bus until this year my daughter is a junior in high school my other daughter is a freshman in high school they have taken the bus every year until this year," she replied.

The concern is Union Road, five lanes wide with a speed limit of 40 miles per hour.

Mutton says things are slowly be done to help. The district is working on getting transportation grants, the DOT is studying the possibility of a school zone, which would reduce the speed limit to 20 miles per hour.

Superintendent Deborah Ziolkowski declined an on camera interview but said the accident this morning was very unfortunate but has nothing to do with the new policies.