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Houston Co. Board of Education hosts school bus training Road-E-O

Each competing driver must be accident-free during this school year to participate.

For the next two days, bus drivers from across the state are taking to streets for their annual training session and competition. Yvonne Thomas spoke to drivers about what they're learning during the 2-day Road-E-O competition.

Every year, bus drivers from across the state take a seat behind the wheel, showing off their skills. “It's all about safety. It's all about the students,” said Dr. Jeff Turner, chairman of the Georgia Association for Pupil Transportation Safety. “This is the most the drivers we've had -- 60 in regular ed and 17 teams in special ed. One of the requirements is you have to be accident-free this school year to compete.”

Degory Jones is one of those drivers. It's his fourth year earning a competition spot in the Road-E-O training session and competition. "It basically challenges your driving techniques, helps you learn a lot more,” said Jones.

For two days, each driver must complete an 11-course driving test and a written exam. “They do an alley dock, parallel parking. They have a station where bus drivers have to go through the procedure of picking up children,” said Turner.

Jones says many of the events in the Road-E-O address challenges that he faces every day. “Sometimes we have behavior issues on the bus, but a lot of the times, we see crazy drivers. Some people don't like to stop for the stop signs.”

But this friendly competition, Jones says, keeps his skills sharp, learning new ways to keep our kids safe to and from school.

The top drivers will compete in the national competitions in Philadelphia and Texas.