Video by local entrepreneurial techy Jeri Ellsorth. Find her on twitter at @jerriellsworth and on YouTube.
Human error is unavoidable. Simply saying “bus drivers should be careful” is really simplistic and utterly unhelpful. We need to talk about concrete actions that can be taken, like limiting overtime, giving drivers adequate breaks, and other means of reducing stress, pressure, and fatigue on the job.
Also, building a crude prototype in your spare time is a disingenuous comparison. Researching, building, marketing, and supporting a robust device that will last years of daily service out in the elements is simply much more expensive than throwing something together.
The audio warning system very well may be garbage — I don’t know, since Trimet has barely begun testing it — but I do know that it’s easier to tear down ideas down than to propose useful ones.
@Nick – The prototype is obviously not ready to strap onto a bus, and I don’t think that was implied. Jeri did explain, however, how her device may be a better design than the one TriMet is trying out, because it sends the warning earlier in the turn.
And I don’ t think suggesting drivers be more careful rules out the possibility that providing them better work conditions would help.
My main problem with the turning announcement is that it does not address the real problem. The problem is not that pedestrians in marked crosswalks with walk signals did not see or hear the bus, the problem is that the bus drivers (for whatever reason – be it fatigue, carelessness, blind spots, etc.) in question failed to yield to said pedestrians.
Fantastic. The video was succinct and to the point. There is a large problem with trimet bus related accidents resulting in injury and death. The solution of hiring a “safety consultant” appears more related to public relations then honest search for answers. Did trimet consult honestly with its own staff, the public, other city employees involved in safety? As this engineer demonstrated, simple solutions are often at hand, work very well and can be implemented at reasonable cost if their is a process to get “thinkers” involved in the question; “Portland we have a bus pedestrian problem”.
Type IV MAX operators have testified at the (Jan 2011?) board meeting saying the trains have significant visual barriers; with some occasions the cameras being blinded out such that there is NO visibility. This is a problem San Diego (which has the same trains) has addressed. What has TriMet done in response to this? Nothing!
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