Posted by Jonathan Maus ( Publisher/Editor ) on June 29th, 2010 at 11:33 am
TriMet has made a policy change in light of complaints about a bus operator who made videos of himself and his passengers — sometimes while driving — and then posted them on this blog.
The issue surfaced after I published a video statement by bus operator Al Marguiles. In the comments of that story, Marguiles (posting as “Al M”) engaged other readers and encouraged them to visit his blog to watch videos about people who bike and about BikePortland.
After watching those and other videos on the “Rantings of a TriMet Bus Driver” blog, several people complained to TriMet that they were concerned Marguiles was driving distracted. In some videos he was operating a video recorder and having a conversation with a passenger while driving.
One of the people who filed a formal complaint was frequent BikePortland commenter and contributor Marcus Griffith, although he spoke only for himself and was not acting as an official representative of BikePortland.
TriMet Communications Director Mary Fetsch says their current policy restricts use of “handheld personal devices, such as cell phones, video cameras and other devices while operating a TriMet vehicle” but it does not “expressly restrict an operator from having someone else record them with such devices while operating a vehicle.” In light of the Al Marguiles situation, Fetsch explained the following policy change:
“We are making changes to the policy this week to restrict creating personal communications via audio or video device, such as for a blog, while operating a vehicle.”