DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) - A handful of area school bus drivers did not have to saddle up to take part in a rodeo in Depew. Instead, they got in the drivers seat of a school bus.
The Western New York Association for Pupil Transportation hosted the 32nd Annual School Bus Safety "Roadeo" Saturday at Cayuga Heights Elementary school.
"This is a skills competition," said Edward Zurek, a Lancaster Central School bus driver. "It is to test our driving schools and our school bus safety with kids loading and unloading and getting everybody on the bus safely and going through everything we have been trained to do."
According to Douglas Baumgarden, Depew Schools Transportation Supervisor, the drivers are divided into different categories to compete.
"We have the conventionals, the vans , and the transit style," Baumgarden explained. "The top 3 in each category will proceed to the state roadeo in Saratoga Springs in July."
The drivers go through different tests and for each mistake they are docked points. They do everything from railroad crossing tests, manueverability tests, parking tests. Some of the tests they have seen before.
"They have to do some of the same stuff to train to be a bus driver," Baumgarden said. "Like parallel park. That is on the state test."
When asked which test was the hardest, Zurek had a tough time picking one.
"It was a toss-up between parallel parking and the ally dock backing up," he said.
I could not see anything. It was very difficult."
Last year, Zurek was the local winner, but the extra challenge of rain this year made him less confident in results this time around.
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