A local bus driver’s skills won him a plaque from a state competition—but Jeff Miller said the safety of his passengers is what the event is all about.

Called the New Mexico School Bus Rodeo, Miller came in second the first time he competed last year, and this year took the top spot.

Miller spent 19 years as a school bus driver and said he enjoys his job and wanted to test his skills.

In addition to 10 different driving events, a timed 50-question test on the Commercial Driver’s License Manual and other standards is part of the competition.

Driving events included parallel parking, railroad crossing, driving between poles, and avoiding tennis balls scattered on the road.

In Miller’s mind, the competition was about showing that he is “highly qualified” to drive children.

The competition this year was held in Belen.

Leota Harriman
Leota Harriman

Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at news.ind.editor@gmail.com.