Schools bus drivers compete in 31st annual "Road-e-o"

Competition tests their driving, parking skills

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Over a hundred school bus drivers will compete in the 31st annual school bus "road-e-o" in Bakersfield on Saturday.

"They come over and practice as much as they can in between bus runs and whenever they get a chance just to get their fine points turning — parallel parking," said Esa Hall, chairman of School Bus "Road-e-o."

The buses are put through different obstacle courses that test their parking and backing up technique, but with over 40 feet to haul along, the drive is not easy. And the completion is steep.

"The Greenfield team has won in the past 15 years," said Hall. "There's a couple of times [where] we didn't have a team together, so everybody's out to get Greenfield," she said.

After seven precise courses, the winner will be determined by categories such as "the best student load and unload," "parallel park" and "back up."

"The Road-e-o is all about safety and it's all about fun," said Hall. "It's fun for the drivers and it's enhancing their driving practices."

Hall also said that all drivers also have to take a rules and regulations and "pre-trip" written test which is administered by the California Highway Patrol.

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