For Smoky River Express
Up to 20 bus drivers are expected to test their skills in the third annual Zone 5 (northwest) School Bus Roadeo in High Prairie on May 26. Drivers will compete in the daylong event at the High Prairie School Division Learning Support Centre starting at 9 a.m.
“We expect to have a minimum of 10 drivers,” says Harry Davis, director of transportation for High Prairie School Division, who co-ordinates the event.
Top three winners qualify for the provincial bus roadeo June 9 in Medicine Hat.
“There are many talented professional commercial drivers operating on our highways and I truly believe the school bus operator is the best of the best,” Davis says.
All Zone 5 school divisions have been invited and he expects drivers from Peace-Wapiti School Division of Grande Prairie, local Northland School Division, High Prairie School Division and possibly others.
Spectators are encouraged to observe the drivers showcase their skills.
“Come and see school bus drivers perform technical maneuvers with a 40 foot long, 10 foot wide school bus through a challenging driving course,” Davis says.
“These are the people who transport our students to and from school safely, come and offer your support by viewing them in action in person.”
During the event, drivers complete a written examination, and are evaluated on their skills that include offset alley, uncontrolled railroad crossing, straight line, diminishing clearance, back-up test, right turn, curb line, parallel parking, student loading and stop line.
Last year, Melody Tollefsrud of Peace Wapiti School Division won the title, followed by High Prairie School Division drivers Carmen Pelletier in second and Candace Barber in third.