Shelby County bus drivers to compete in driving rodeo

SHELBY COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — They call it a rodeo, because it’s set up like an obstacle course, but really what they’re doing is testing skills drivers use every day to keep kids safe.

Kevin Snowden has been driving a school bus since he was 16.

“I would actually drive a bus to school with my peers and then take them home that afternoon,” Snowden said.

Now, he’s in charge of training bus drivers as Shelby County School’s transportation coordinator. The course set up Wednesday is the ultimate training ground for bus drivers in Shelby County.

It’s their annual bus rodeo.

Fifty bus drivers are competing for the title.

Although the course is designed to be tough, they’re using skills they have to use every morning and afternoon.

Snowden took CBS42 on a practice run and showed us how drivers are tested on skills like making turns.

“The objective is getting as close to the cones as possible without striking the cones,” Snowden said.

He says on top of keeping their safe driving skills sharp, there is one other thing that keeps these drivers coming back every year to compete.

“Bragging rights. A lot of bragging rights go with it,” Snowden said.

Thankfully, being able to brag about being a safe bus driver definitely isn’t a bad thing.

Copyright 2014 WIAT-TV CBS42

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