Saturday, May 26, 2012


TriMet changing video-recording policy after complaints about blogging driver
Published: Monday, June 28, 2010, 12:40 PM Updated: Monday, June 28, 2010, 3:37 PM
Joseph Rose, The Oregonian
TriMet says it will change its policy for bus drivers and MAX operators who operate transit-related blogs, prohibiting them from
recording videos while on the job.
The latest restriction to TriMet's ever-evolving policy for operators who blog comes after a week of back-and-forth between driver Al
Margulies and readers of the Bike Portland blog over a video that he filmed while driving a bus.

Hard Drive was off last week. So, we're playing catch up on the drama involving Margulies, best known around here for his posts
“Who is Joseph Rose and Why Does He Hate Bus Drivers?” and "Joseph Rose Gives Me a Headache!"
KATU and KGW both ran stories about Margulies being “under investigation” for the video, which was apparently critical of the actions
of some cyclists on street and Bike Portland's coverage of a recent crash.
(Margulies has since taken down the offending video he posted to YouTube, but has posted a sequel -- "WHO WOULD HAVE EVER
TriMet spokeswoman Mary Fetsch said four of the five complaints about the video and others like it on Margulies' blog came from
Marcus Griffith of Vancouver, a Bike Portland contributor.
“I could (sic) care less if Margulles (sic) wants to blur the line between voicing his personal opinion and acting as a spokesperson for
Trimet,” Griffith wrote in one complaint, which he shared on Bike Portland. “I do very much care that Margulles (sic) appears clueless
to the inherent risks associated with distracted driving. The irony of him engaging in unsafe driving while ranting about how safe he is
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around cyclists is one more thing Margulless (sic)was too distracted to notice.”
Jack Bogdanski has posted Griffith's strange yet rich history of filing complaints, advocating nude biking and apparent fare jumping on
In reality, Margulies, who runs the “Rantings of a TriMet Bus Driver” blog, neither violated state distracted-driving laws or TriMet
policy because the videos were either shot by another person on the bus or by a camera attached to a visor over the driver's seat,
Fetsch said.
But even though the videos were shot “hands-free,” Fetsch said, Oregon's largest transit agency is expected to update its policy for
on-the-job blogging this week. Drivers won't be allowed to shoot videos while driving, regardless of whether they shoot it themselves
or have a third party shoot the footage, she said.
“Al is ahead of the policy,” she said. “He was blogging (as a transit operator) before anyone else. We've had to create the policy as
things like this have emerged.”
TriMet allows employees to run blogs, as long as they don't try to represent themselves as an agency spokesperson or divulge
proprietary information. Fetsch said.
A post on Margulies's blog last year led the agency to restrict employees from recording other employees and riders without consent,
Fetsch said.
During a phone conversation Sunday, Marqulies said the controversy over the video has “blown way up, which is why I took it down.”
Margulies said he's a safe driver and doesn't think many of the comments posted on Bike Portland are fair.
Indeed, Margulies recently received a safe driving award from TriMet. Fetsch the driver has received three complaints about his
driving in the past 14 months. “That's really good, alow number,” she said. “The average is three or four a year.”
-- Joseph Rose; Twitter, pdxcommute
© 2010 All rights reserved.
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