Bus "Roadeo" Tests Drivers' Skills

Bus "Roadeo" Tests Drivers' Skills

MAY 15, 2005 -- Drivers from across the state tested their driving skills in the North Carolina Public Transportation Association Bus and Van "Roadeo."

A team from Charlotte, North Carolina won the competition.

"I took all the top honors and my two co-workers last year. We took top three prizes here, first place, second place, third place and we took the team trophy last year," says Lonny Earnhardt, the reigning champion.

It's a competition that tests the driving skills of those that drive for a living.

"They lose points for every cone that they hit. Basically anything that's orange, we don't want them to hit," says Stephen Wright of the North Carolina Public Transportation Association.

Awards were given for first, second and third place.

"We give $500 for first, $250 for second and $100 for third. The drivers are pretty serious about the competition," says Wright.

Even though the competition is intense, it does serve a practical purpose. It makes the drivers better on the road.

"Sure it does, competing in something like this, when we go back on the road and in revenue service in Charlotte. It just helps us to manuever that bus from point A to point B, safely and securely," says Earnhardt.

Even though the competition has been held in Wilmington for some time now, this is first time drivers from here have participated. The drivers from Wilmington did not place.

Lonny Earnhardt and his Charlotte Area Transit System team won this competition.

Reported by Samuel King