Bus drivers face off in on-road rodeo - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Bus drivers face off in on-road rodeo

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PASCO, WA.-- Contestants from all over the state of Washington came to the TRAC Center for a rodeo on Sunday. But this rodeo didn't involve and barrel racing, or steer wrestling. Instead, these competitors were riding steeds of steel.

The event was the annual Washington State Bus Rodeo, and it was a safety-first affair. Bus drivers represented their school districts in an obstacle course that included parallel parking, backing up, tight turns, and other challenges.They were scored on how carefully they drove through each obstacle. The driver with the highest number of points was declared the winner, and would move on to the national competition, along with the second and third-place finishers. 

"It's made me a better driver," Cory Maplethorpe, a driver from the Richland School District told KNDU. "Honestly. It's made me a better driver."

While the competitive aspect was certainly fun, the event was all in the name of safety. Drivers made sure to point out that the number-one priority in everything they do, is the people they care for while they're on the job.