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Monday, July 12, 2010

New TriMet Safety Rules: Drivers Must Turn Off Phones, Camera, iPods

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 12:59 PM

TriMet chief Neil McFarlane handed down new safety rules today in response to the tragic crash that killed two young women downtown this spring.

The new policies establish a new "Safety and Service Excellence Task Force" made up of two bus and rail operators, bike and pedestrian advocates, a Portland Police representative and several urban planning and transportation consultants. They also require drivers to turn off all personal electronic devices while operating a bus or MAX. Previously, drivers only had to have phones and other electronic gadgets out of sight, but not off. This would definitely include video cameras, seeing as last month a complaint and blog war prompted the agency to ban drivers from recording videos on the job.

TriMet is in the midst of a "top to bottom" safety review. A group of Florida consultants issued a list of safety suggestions for TriMet last month, including not turning left on red even when it's legal and establish a committee to end committees.

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