For The Express
Up to 20 bus drivers are expected to test their skills in the fourth annual Northwest (Zone 5) School Bus Roadeo in High Prairie on May 25.
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 8 in Red Deer.
“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.
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.
All Zone 5 school divisions have been invited and he expects drivers from local Northland School Division and High Prairie School Division, Peace River School Division, Peace-Wapiti School Division of Grande Prairie and Fort Vermilion around La Crete 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.”
HPSD driver Kirsten Burger of Kinuso won the 2018 title in a field of 17 drivers.
Kevin Auger of the Northland School Division finished second while HPSD driver Candace Barber of High Prairie placed third for the second successive year.
She tied with Donna Duke of the Peace Wapiti School Division.