The Dangers of Left Turns by Buses

Posted By Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC || 13-May-2010

TriMet has been under increasing scrutiny after the recent left-turn bus accident that left two dead and three injured. The agency was initially hesitant to change bus routes to eliminate or decrease left turns but has since changed its tune and implemented changes to three of its downtown routes.

There is plenty of evidence that left turns by buses are more dangerous than other turns. In fact, a study by the Federal Transit Administration found that accidents between buses and pedestrians are more than twice as likely to occur during left turns.

Other agencies, such as those in Des Moines, Iowa, and Cleveland, Ohio, have altered routes to eliminate left turns. In addition, buses making right turns are required to sound a warning honk. The transit agency in Richmond, Virginia, will soon have buses that verbally warn pedestrians of impending turns.

Let’s hope TriMet continues to review its safety procedures to make buses safe for pedestrians as well as drivers and passengers.