TriMet, first responders and transportation partners ask public to be alert and be safe at crossings and intersections

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TriMet, first responders and transportation partners gathered Friday, Nov. 20, 2015 to urge the public to be aware and be safe at crossings. The plea follows several serious, preventable pedestrian collisions with TriMet vehicles as well as autos throughout the metro area. Smartphones, earbuds and even clothing play a role in blocking people’s awareness and view of vehicles.

“The distractions are just that,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Rich Tyler at the news conference attended by representatives of 15 agencies. “They are keeping you and those around you from being safe, and none of us, none of us want to be a cause of a crash.”

“If you are going to have your head phones in, either have the volume down low enough to where you can still hear what’s going on around you, or at least have one of the earbuds out,” said Beaverton Police Officer Mike Rowe.

It’s not just distractions, but in the cold and rain umbrellas, hoods, hats and scarves can block your view.

“Our operators train to anticipate people’s behaviors, but they need your help,” said TriMet Executive Director of Safety & Security Harry Saporta. “At crossings, it takes just a moment to stop, look both ways, be alert and be safe.”

TriMet has released several videos showing distracted behaviors, in hopes of getting people to be more alert at crossings.

Be alert. Be safe.

While it is easy to be distracted, following simple yet important tips when crossing train tracks and streets will increase your safety.

  • Stop, look up from devices and look both ways.
  • Obey signals.
  • Don’t run across, even if it means waiting for the next walk signal, or catching the next bus or train.
  • Make sure umbrellas, hoods and other apparel don’t block your view.
  • Be seen: In the darker hours, use safety lights or flashlights, clothing or accessories with reflective elements and light/bright outerwear. More tips at trimet.org/beseen.

TriMet thanks the following agencies for joining us in encouraging safe behavior at crossings: C-Tran, Portland Streetcar, Oregon Department of Transportation, Portland Bureau of Transportation, Washington State Department of Transportation, Beaverton Police Department, Gresham Police Department, Hillsboro Police Department, Milwaukie Police Department, Portland Police Bureau, Transit Police Division, Clackamas Fire District #1, Portland Fire & Rescue, and Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue.