Special Needs Bus Road-e-o
Floyd County Schools to host the state Special Needs Bus Road-e-o
Posted on 01/30/2009
Floyd County Schools will host the fourth annual Georgia Special Needs Bus Road-e-o on February 7, 2009 at 9:00 a.m. at Georgia Highlands College. The event will take place in the parking lot beside the Lakeview building on the Georgia Highlands campus. The Road-e-o is held to improve the training and preparedness of drivers of buses that transport special needs children. The Road-e-o is an opportunity for the very best drivers in the state to show-off and hone their driving skills. The competition will involve the bus driver and bus monitor working as a team as they compete in the areas of a bus pre-check, wheelchair loading and securement, special needs evacuation, and driving.

The pre-check will involve a CDL inspection of bus equipment and knowledge of bus and equipment operation. Wheelchair loading and securement will focus on the loading and securement of a wheelchair on a bus. In the special needs evacuation, the driver and monitor will be presented with an emergency scenario on a special needs bus carrying students with a variety of special needs. The driving test is based on a traditional bus safety road-e-o course where drivers are asked to navigate their bus through a series of obstacles design to simulate difficult driving situations they may encounter on the highway. 

In the special needs road-e-o, the drivers are also judged on their “TLC” which is their ability to maneuver their bus while taking care of their fragile passengers. The TLC driving skill will be measured by a ping pong ball placed on top of a soda bottle nestled in a box of kitty litter and placed in the rear of the bus. This will measure how much the rear of the bus sways and shakes as it stops, starts, turns and maneuvers over speed bumps. 

The Georgia Association of Pupil Transportation hold this Road-e-o each year to recognize driving excellence and improve the skills of special needs bus drivers. The first and second place teams in the state competition will represent Georgia in the National Road-e-o to be held on February 28, 2009 in Indianapolis, Indiana.