Zone 5 drivers invited to School Bus Roadeo

Drivers will be tested on their skills, including stopping at uncontrolled railway crossing, as part of the Zone 5 (northwest) School Bus Roadeo in High Prairie on May 27.

Richard Froese
More than 20 bus drivers are expected to test their skills in the second annual Zone 5 (northwest) School Bus Roadeo in High Prairie on May 27.

Drivers will compete in the daylong event at the High Prairie School Division Learning Support Centre in High Prairie starting at 9 a.m.

“We expect 21-25 drivers will participate,” says Harry Davis, director of transportation for High Prairie School Division, who co-ordinated and revived the event that was previously held in 2000.
“Spectators are welcome to come and observe those we entrust to transport our children as they perform a number of driving and maneuvering skills.”

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.

Many of the drivers will return from last year when 20 participated, he says.

“It will be an opportunity to showcase the talented school bus operators we have here within Zone 5 and their skills and fellowship within the school bus industry,” 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.

“We have many excellent bus drivers in our division,” Davis says.
“School bus drivers are a very passionate and professional group and I believe a good number carry that passion to support, through participation, events that promote the school bus industry.”

The top three drivers will qualify for the 2017 provincial school bus roadeo finals June 10 in Grande Prairie.

Last year, Jamie Bilyk won the local title while Carmen Pelletier of the Falher area finished second and Larry Auger of High Prairie placed third.

Drivers look forward to the bus roadeo.

“They say it is a lot of fun,” Davis says.

Planned to go rain or shine, the event was initially scheduled for May 13, but was postponed days before when cool and rainy weather was predicted.

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