PDA

View Full Version : TriMet's Distracted Drivers (better look out)...


K'Tesh
11-14-2009, 07:48 AM
I can't count the number of times I've been on a bus when the driver was on his or her cell phone. Once, the driver (route 76) got the call at the turn from SW Canyon and SW Watson (Beaverton), and continued talking to his girlfriend (baby... baby... but... We talked about this last night... etc) until we reached Tigard Transit. What I wanted to do, was grab the phone out of his hand, tell his girlfriend he'd see her after he finished his exit interview, and call 911. What I did do, was call it in. TriMet didn't do SHIT. :mad:

We all have heard about how cell phones, texting, and distracted driving has caused major crashes with public transportation. Train operators plowing into stationary trains, Buses hitting cars, or loosing control, and crashing. Hell, even pilots missing their airport by over a hundred miles (not fatal, but disconcerting).

Well, things are changing!!! Just read on the front page of Friday's (11/13/09) Oregonian (http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2009/11/trimet_tightens_up_cell_phone.html), starting Jan 1, 2010 TriMet will FIRE! drivers who use their cell phones while driving. (I'd ask Fred Hansen: Why wait for January?)

I'm not saying that you complain if the driver makes a call to 911. However, if they place or take any other kind of call, you do. Especially if they're the cause of an emergency.

TriMet's phone number:

503-238-RIDE (7433)

Or you can fill out the online form (http://www.trimet.org/mailforms/comments_employee).

See Something? Say Something!
K'Tesh

canuck
11-14-2009, 03:37 PM
They are waiting until January 1, because that is when the Oregon state law making it illegal to drive while talking on a cell phone goes into affect.

q`Tzal
11-14-2009, 08:09 PM
Was the law prohibiting cell phone use period or only allowing hands free devices?
Did it also apply to texting?
Did it also apply to other mobile devices like mobile email on a Blackberry?

Does anyone have a link to the new law handy?

From reading the comments from the "O" at:
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/11/trimet_drivers_using_cell_phon.html
and
http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2009/11/trimet_tightens_up_cell_phone.html
it is obvious that there is a valid concern among Trimet drivers that there are other more distracting issues, mainly self absorbed passengers, than cell phones.

What a pArticuLar ranting Trimet driver doesn't seem to get is that it is the driver's own choice to be distracted by a cell phone, you can't stop the passengers without a bus version of the Lexan cage that the convenience store clerk works behind.
A security cage might not be a bad idea; certainly they have valid concerns for their own safety. Said plastic box might keep them from getting nasty with the riders. I had a Trimet bus driver with an anger management problem chase out the bus, on the transit mall, to get me to remove my properly loaded bike because he didn't want it there. Reporting his hissy fit also had no results.

I'm sorry for the dedicated, rational and reasonable employees of Trimet but I will not fail to narc on EVERY Trimet operator I see violating this new rule.

K'Tesh
11-14-2009, 09:29 PM
I'm sorry for the dedicated, rational and reasonable employees of Trimet but I will not fail to narc on EVERY Trimet operator I see violating this new rule.

Ditto... And remember this:

I REGULARLY carry two cameras on me at any time. AND I have individual email addresses and phone numbers of TriMet Supervisors already programmed into my cell phone (which I can use as a passenger).

Oh, and I love this line from the article Q'ztal linked to:

One thing that TriMet has changed is how it deals with customer-service complaints. Supervisors now sit down with an operator after every one, hoping to correct behavior

Oh, and Q'ztal, to answer your question...

On Jan. 1 (2010), motorists caught using hand-held mobile devices while driving in Oregon risk a $90 ticket.

See Something! Say Something!!!
K'Tesh

wsbob
11-14-2009, 11:34 PM
Was the law prohibiting cell phone use period or only allowing hands free devices?
Did it also apply to texting?
Did it also apply to other mobile devices like mobile email on a Blackberry?

Does anyone have a link to the new law handy?

From reading the comments from the "O" at:
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2009/11/trimet_drivers_using_cell_phon.html
and
http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2009/11/trimet_tightens_up_cell_phone.html
it is obvious that there is a valid concern among Trimet drivers that there are other more distracting issues, mainly self absorbed passengers, than cell phones. .....[/B]

From one of the articles you provided a link to (second link):

"He also noted that TriMet policy, unlike the new Oregon law, will continue to ban hands-free cell phone conversations.

“TriMet’s policy goes further than the law,” he wrote, “since we do not allow either handheld or hands free cell phone usage.” " TriMet gets tough with operators on cell phones/Oregonian November 13, 2009/Joe Rose

For a reading of the new law (not available in the statutes until 2010), go here:

House Bill 2377
Relating to use of mobile communication device while driving.
Prohibits person of any age from operating motor vehicle while using mobile communication device except under certain circumstances/ Oregonian. (http://gov.oregonlive.com/bill/HB2377/)

I have to explain that this is a roundabout way of viewing the new law...by way of links to Oregon legislature pdf's posted on oregonlive.com's website.

PhilipP
11-15-2009, 05:01 AM
Excellent idea, no cell phone operation for Bus Drivers, about time.....

q`Tzal
11-15-2009, 11:13 AM
wsbob
Thanks for the law link, now to see if I can translate.:)

Still think giving the bus drivers a 7-11 operator cage wouldn't hurt. If it was flu season they also might not get sick as quickly.
Also when they start yelling the spittle wouldn't hit me.

wsbob
11-15-2009, 12:54 PM
As to the idea of devising separate compartments to help reduce potential distractions for Trimet vehicle operators, this, to me doesn't seem like such a good one. Light rail trains already have these. Is that minimize the risk of hijacking?...such as in Pellham 1-2-3 as in the movie?

Isn't their some advantage to the operator being in the general midst of the passengers they're serving, so as to influence conduct from passengers that will allow the operator to better operate the vehicle as well creating conditions that would generally be more enjoyable for other passengers? Passengers should be making conscious efforts to not do things that would unnecessarily distract vehicle operators. For those passengers that aren't able or willing to do this...off the vehicle at the operators professional discretion. Perhaps operators aren't able to use this measure as often as they need to.

With operators isolated in a separate compartment from passengers, it seems they would be less aware of and less prepared to promptly deal with unacceptable conduct and behavior from passengers.

q`Tzal
11-15-2009, 01:47 PM
Isn't their some advantage to the operator being in the general midst of the passengers they're serving, ...
I expect there would be an extreme safety advantage to removing the passenger distractions that endanger all bus riders. Most all passengers would like to strangle the idiot who goes up and waves a schedule in front of the bus driver's face but there is no way to stop that other than putting a bus marshal on every bus. I think the best "pro-cell phone" argument was that these idiots were more of a hazard than a phone conversation.

... so as to influence conduct from passengers that will allow the operator to better operate the vehicle as well creating conditions that would generally be more enjoyable for other passengers?Passengers should be making conscious efforts to not do things that would unnecessarily distract vehicle operators.
If rude people were in any way influenced by proximity to polite well mannered people then there would be no rude people on the bus. If one single well mannered bus driver, that doesn't hate his passengers and public transit in general, was able to influence the behavior of the riders I would want to clone her/him.
While I look forward to the utopian society that exists in ST:TNG where people are always nice and courteous I accept that we currently live with people for whom manners only consist of not attempting to kill you to your face.

For those passengers that aren't able or willing to do this...off the vehicle at the operators professional discretion. Perhaps operators aren't able to use this measure as often as they need to. With operators isolated in a separate compartment from passengers, it seems they would be less aware of and less prepared to promptly deal with unacceptable conduct and behavior from passengers.
I gather, from about a year on line 72 (http://www.trimet.org/schedules/r072.htm) (82nd ave MAX south to Clackamas TC) around 11:30PM to midnight that bus drivers are not encouraged or even possibly allowed (by union?) to deal with rowdy passengers. Sat on many a bus stopped waiting for cops show up and extract a non-paying rider or some thug. Even the burly male drivers would just stop, fake mechanical problems, and wait for the cops.

boneshaker
11-16-2009, 08:50 AM
Getting fired is pretty harsh.

q`Tzal
11-16-2009, 10:44 AM
Getting fired is pretty harsh.

Would the average person call for the head of the:

surgeon who operates drunk?
train operator that who's electronic habits are shown to be cause of the train wreck?
pilot who is chemically altered, sleep deprived or ,again, distracted by electronic devices?


Bus drivers are in a prime position to go on a suicide run and kill everyone in their vehicle and everything near their impact area.
It doesn't matter if the driver intentionally is trying to screw up or not the result is the same.

We need to hold people to higher standards that hold the lives of others in their hands.

zpl
11-16-2009, 11:30 AM
I don't think a zero-tolerance policy around cell phone use is all that harsh. It's a completely unnecessary activity. If the rule is laid out clearly to all employees, with the consequences made clear, then the situation is pretty fair IMO.

Scott

wsbob
11-16-2009, 12:13 PM
Getting fired for messing with a cellphone while driving a bus is harsh. That kind of severity of reproach apparently is what is needed to get across to certain bus operators, the point that the level of concentration required to safely operate a bus should not be allowed to be impaired by the operators use of a cellphone or any other manageable distractions.

It's kind of a shame that Trimet or the state for that matter, even needs to implement a policy that orders people not to use a cellphone while driving a vehicle. Every person's own common sense should be enough to make them aware that something so obviously distracting as electronic and other on board distractions need to be minimized or eliminated. Clearly it's not, which leaves public agencies like Trimet forced to get the message across in a strong way.

q`Tzal
11-16-2009, 02:40 PM
With all the recent air time the Official Government Study on driver impairment by cell phones it is easy to see that using a cell phone while driving is in fact dangerous. This is becoming Common Sense(c).

It all comes down to choice. A driver chooses to knowingly be less safe; they choose to endanger those around them by doing so.

As a society, we already stop individuals from doing things that harm the public. For example, we don't let people with deadly contagious diseases wander around in public.

Is it OK to let drivers who habitually endanger the public to continue to do so? Our society's current answer is: YES.

grumble mumble mumble