Going 20 consecutive years without a scratch on your vehicle is not something a lot of us can say we’ve done, but Sooke resident Betsy Lockwood can.
Lockwood has worked for B.C. Transit for 25 years, and on May 5, she received a Million Miler award during an event at Government House.
Recipients of B.C. Transit’s Million Miler Award are required to go 20 consecutive years of driving without a preventable accident, which B.C. Transit says is the approximately equal to driving a million miles safely without any incidents.
“It’s an incredible feeling to receive this award, I feel so proud,” Lockwood said. “It is not an easy thing to do. If you have one little incident that could have been preventable, even if you went 17 years without any, you’d have to start over.”
Lockwood was destined to pursue a job that had to do with driving.
“I’ve always loved driving. Growing up I would tell people I wanted to be a race car driver,” laughed Lockwood.
She moved to Sooke in the 1980s from Vancouver, where she worked in health care.
“Not too long after moving here, I saw an ad in the paper for a paramedic and thought, ‘hey that would be a good job for me because I could drive the ambulance around,’” she said.
Then in 1993, she decided to switch careers and got a job working with B.C. Transit, and hasn’t looked back.
Most of the routes she drives are in Victoria, but over the years she has also worked on the Sooke routes many times.
Now 65 years old, Lockwood hopes to retire within the next few years.
“I love my job, it’s given me a good life. In a way, I’m my own boss at work. I love the people I get to be around, and I really enjoy the driving,” said Lockwood, adding that it was her goal to achieve the Million Miler Award.
With the award, she also received a jacket, a trophy with a transit bus on it, a certificate, a pin and a professional photos of herself in uniform.
The award was established in 1978, and has been presented to 155 B.C. Transit drivers in Victoria. Only one other person besides Lockwood received the award this year.
“Marking 20-years of accident-free driving is an impressive achievement, especially given the complexities and skill involved in driving a transit bus,” said Transportation Minister Claire Trevena.
“I’d like to congratulate the recipients of this award and thank all the hard-working transit drivers who are committed to safety on the job.”