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OK Transit Drivers Test Their Skills On Tricky Obstacle Course

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The Oklahoma Transit Driving Championships allows drivers test their skills against each other to see who is the best driver from each transit system in the state. The Oklahoma Transit Driving Championships allows drivers test their skills against each other to see who is the best driver from each transit system in the state.
Drivers are tested on securing wheelchairs, a bus inspection, a written exam on the rules of the road and the driving test. They have seven minutes to complete the course, which mimics the road. Drivers are tested on securing wheelchairs, a bus inspection, a written exam on the rules of the road and the driving test. They have seven minutes to complete the course, which mimics the road.
OKLAHOMA CITY -

It is an obstacle course that only the most skilled drivers can tackle. On Friday, Oklahoma held the championships for public transit employees who drive big city buses and shuttles.

The Oklahoma Transit Driving Championships allows drivers test their skills against each other to see who is the best driver from each transit system in the state.

Drivers are tested on securing wheelchairs, a bus inspection, a written exam on the rules of the road and the driving test. They have seven minutes to complete the course, which mimics the road.

“Zigzag through the cones and then right hand turn, left hand turn and right and left hand backing maneuvers,” said Steve Spradling with OSU Transit

Then there is a narrow street and sudden stop at 20 miles per hour.

“Kind of a like a panic stop basically where somebody runs out in front of you or something and you want to stop as quickly as you can, but don't stop too fast and through everyone in the floor,” Spradling told News 9.

The competitors are from Oklahoma City, Tulsa, Stillwater, Altus, Big Cabin and Norman. There are only 15 participants this year because of driver and bus shortages across the state due to budget cuts.

Driving a 35 foot long bus that's as wide as a lane of traffic is stressful, at least for a novice.

“I don't think they realize how difficult it is to be a transit driver, especially in the traffic,” Spradling explained.

That is why the pros take great pride in it.

“They take people to work, so they got to go to work before those people. So they got to get up extra early to get those people to work or to a doctor's appointment or dialysis,” Spradling said.

Winners advance to the national championships.

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