Sweet Home bus drivers excel in safety exercises

Three Sweet Home School District Transportation drivers were among the winners in both regional and state school bus safety exercises held held at the end of the school year.

Drivers were tested on their knowledge of regulations, first aid practices, vehicle inspections, and bus operation.

In bus operations drivers were scored on how well they operated their vehicle through 11 separate exercises:

– student loading,

– diminishing clearances, in which barriers narrowed to 1 inch wider than the bus;

– offset alley, in which a driver must maneuver his or her bus through barriers, then turn to clear;

– turn event;

– railroad crossing;

– curb line event, in which a driver must pull in and exit a loading area up to 90 feet in length;

– back up alley, a narrow roadway where a driver must back into a driveway 10 feet wide to within one foot of a rear barrier;

– wheel track, in which a driver must place the right-hand tires between a row of tennis balls 1.5 inches wider than the rear duals;

– serpentine, in which the driver must weave the bus through five barrels set 35 feet apart, four feet shorter than a bus length;

– stop line, in which the driver must stop within four inches of a line; and

– parallel parking in an area seven feet longer than the bus’ length.

Russell Hurst finished second and Cristina Gutierrez was fourth in the regional safety exercise held May 2 in Salem at the Volcanos Stadium.

Three drivers competed in the 34th annual State School Bus Safety Exercise in Redmond on May 30 €“ Hurst, Gutierrez and Dawn Lincoln. Hurst, who Sweet Home School District Transportation Supervisor LD Ellison said had driven a bus for less than a year, placed third at the state level.