VALLEY COTTAGE, N.Y. — Top school bus drivers from around New York will gather here on Saturday to test their skills in the 44th Annual New York State School Bus Safety Competition.

More than 100 drivers will take part in the competition, organized by the New York School Bus Contractors Association (NYSBCA). The event will be held at Rockland Lake State Park in Valley Cottage.

“This is a day where the best school bus drivers in the state have their daily driving skills put to the test,” NYSBCA President Bob Pape said. “By sharing their knowledge and competing in this event, they become even better drivers, and that helps make [the] ride even safer for the children we transport on our school buses.”

Each participant will compete in a specific school bus division: Type A (small), Type C (conventional) or Type D (transit).

The day will begin with a written exam on school bus safety. Later, drivers will take on a variety of hands-on situations: vehicle inspection, loading and unloading students, turning and stopping, railroad crossings and more.

“Not only is the event extremely competitive, with a focus on student safety, it’s an incredible amount of fun for everyone involved,” Pape said. “You can be certain that drivers that do well, or finish near or at the top of the competition, are truly the best of the best.”

The winners of Saturday’s competition can choose to participate in the School Bus Driver International Safety Competition, to be held by the National School Transportation Association in Minneapolis on July 18 and 19, or the New York Association for Pupil Transportation Safety Competition in Albany, New York, on July 11.

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