drivers, turn off your cell phones now.
That edict by TriMet general manager Neil McFarlane
is one of two changes he announced today
aimed at improving safety in response to a bus crash April 24
that killed two pedestrians and injured another.
The new policy dealing with personal electronic devices is in contrast to TriMet's earlier policy of requiring that those devices merely be out of sight. Also, TriMet will begin recruiting today for a new officer called the director for safety and security, who will report to McFarlane.
For the longer term, TriMet is creating a "Safety and Excellence Task Force" to review the organization's safety procedures and meet with the public on the issue. The nine-person review is led by former TriMet GM Tom Walsh and will work until August. The new rules and panel were recommended by another safety panel, led by an outside analyst with the National Safety Council who has studied TriMet's safety regime since June.