Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on March 2nd, 2011 at 9:07 am
“Ten buses have been equipped with the external audible warning system. When the operator turns the steering wheel to enter a turn, an external announcement is triggered, announcing “Pedestrians, bus is turning.” The announcement will be made in both English and Spanish.”
The also released a video of the system in action (turn up your speakers):
TriMet will use this pilot test to explore whether or not the warning system should become standard on all buses. The new system comes as part of a safety recommendation made by a task force following the high profile crash in April 2010 that led to multiple fatalities. There was also a collision between a left-turning bus and a man on a bike downtown back in August.
TriMet Operations Executive Director Shelly Lomax said via a statement: “We are testing this system to see if it helps pedestrians and bicyclists be more aware that a bus is turning.”
The 10 buses that will be outfitted with the audible warning system will be running on the 14 (Hawthorne) and 15 (Belmont/NW 23rd) lines and they’ll be rotated to other lines for additional testing.
TriMet says the audible warning is triggered when the steering wheel is turned one full revolution to the right or the left (changing lanes should not activate the system). The audio level is set at 100 decibels.
To further evaluate the new system, TriMet will conduct on-street surveys and will accept comments via email at email@example.com or by phone at (503) 238-7433.