Five counties competing in School Bus Road-eo in Thomas County

By: Noelani Mathews | WCTV Eyewitness News
April 13, 2018

THOMAS CO., Ga. (WCTV) -- School bus drivers from five different counties are competing in South Georgia's regional Bus Road-eo.

Friday, more than two dozen local bus drivers are started their engines, but it wasn't to head to school; drivers were preparing for the Road-eo at Thomas County Schools on Saturday.

"It tests your skills and shows how well you're doing. Plus, it helps us be safer with the kids at the end of the day," said Dixie Torres, a Thomas County Schools bus driver.

A lot of the course tests how well a driver can twist and turn through tight spaces.

The Road-eo has ten categories that they will judge on. They call one the serpentine because the river has to snake through the safety cones.

The event is a first for Victor Williams. He says he's been driving Grady County students for the last 36 years.

"They'll say 'Hey Mr.Victor,' when I'm out on the street. It makes you so proud," said Williams.

He says the Road-eo is much more than just driving a school bus. It's about keeping the kids safe.

"We drive a lot of dirt roads and sometimes the back end tail will swing, so you have to know how to handle that," said Williams.

Drivers say the contest promotes safe and skilled driving, but also offers some friendly competition.

"It's a lot of fun for all the drivers because you get to meet each other and have fun while doing something you love," says Degory Jones, a Valdosta City Schools bus driver.

The Road-eo will kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Thomas County Schools.

They say the winner will go to the state competition in June in Warner Robbins.