Portland Bus Accident Update

While skimming Oregonlive.com Tuesday morning, we came across the article, “Left-turn bus accidents, like fatal one in downtown Portland, alarmingly common among transit agencies.” Here is an excerpt from that article by Joseph Rose:

“TriMet is no stranger to left-turn bus accidents such as the one that killed two pedestrians and injured three others in a downtown Portland crosswalk on the night of April 24.

In fact, earlier this week, Oregon's largest transit agency agreed to pay a record $1.5 million to a woman who lost a leg after it was crushed by a bus turning left into a crosswalk in January 2008.

Just three weeks before the downtown bus tragedy, one of the 17-ton vehicles hit a woman near a Sellwood-Moreland movie theater, knocking her out of her shoes. She had the walk signal as the TriMet driver turned left.

But despite recent history — and a federal study showing that bus-pedestrian collisions are more than twice as likely to happen during left turns — TriMet hasn't altered its operating procedures, The Oregonian has found.”

The article also stated that 60% of bus-pedestrian accidents involved buses making a turn, and around 70% of those collisions involved a left-turn.

After the April 24 pedestrian wrongful deaths, Trimet has begun a safety review and there is an ongoing investigation into that bus-pedestrian collision. We will have to wait and see what changes may come of this review.