Saturday, January 19, 2013

Doored :: Good Legislation Before VA Gen Assembly @BarbaraFavola @vabike

Dooring is a problem.  The first time I was doored I was in graduate school.  I was biking to class and - pursuant to what I was told - biking as far right as possible.  I never saw the door.  Never had a chance.  A woman in a car did not look, opened her door right in front of me, and sent me flying.  

Image: Bike Safe Boston
I had no idea what had happened.  I had never been doored before and the concept had never crossed my mind.  My foot was crushed and my bike was garbage.  Worse yet, the driver was now screaming at me.  I was dazed.  I crawled threw a school security door and locked her out.  Eventually I made it to the school health center.

Getting doored is dangerous and horrible.  Its dangerous to cyclists.  And its dangerous to everyone else on the road as well including other vehicles.  A proposed Virginia law that educates drivers to look before they open the car door is simply good.  In some driver education classes, drivers are taught to open the car door with their right hand -- this of course turns the body and the head so that the driver is looking out the door as they are opening it.

Sen. John Watkins doesnt want drivers to be held responsible for the negligence of cyclists.  Really.  Really???  Look, cycling is a transportation activity where the cyclist must pay attention to what they are doing every moment of the ride -- unlike car drivers who are on cell phones, texting, and eating McBurgers.  Cyclists must pay attention to where they are going at every moment.  

Cyclists are not going to intentionally run into an open door on purpose.  It just will not happen.  Anyone who suggests this is a possibility is full of bullshit.

The proposal before the Virginia General Assembly is good law.  The message is simple.  When you are part of the transportation system, pay attention to what you are doing - this includes opening a traffic side door.  Make sure there are no bikes there or cars or people or anything that might hit your door. Sen. Barbara Favola posted to her facebook page that she supports the legislation.

By the way, I have never been doored again.  My solution: I dont ride in the door-zone of death.  It's too dangerous - too many drivers just swing those doors open without looking.


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