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    No charges expected in fatal Toronto dooring


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    Warning:Mild Peril Treespeed's Avatar
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    I would imagine the family could still pursue a civil case, though I don't know how those things work in Canada.
    Non semper erit aestas.

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    Is there not a law dealing with dooring?

    Seems to me that if the driver has the responsibility to look before opening a door and they either fail to do that or fail to look well enough, it should be pretty cut and dried.

    "Accident" implies that there was no foreseeable way to prevent this... that is hardly the situation.
    Last edited by genec; 05-23-08 at 11:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ajay677's Avatar
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    We'll wait and see. At the very least the door opener should be charged.

    Opening of doors of motor vehicles

    165. No person shall,

    (a) open the door of a motor vehicle on a highway without first taking due precautions to ensure that his or her act will not interfere with the movement of or endanger any other person or vehicle; or

    (b) leave a door of a motor vehicle on a highway open on the side of the vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than is necessary to load or unload passengers. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 165.

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    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...23/171461.aspx

    The death is still under investigation, but Sgt. Burrows said so far it appears to be ‘‘a tragic set of circumstances,’’ and charges against the Volvo’s driver are unlikely.
    He said the motorist may well have looked before she opened her door, saying bikes ‘‘can be hidden by a lot of things — blind spots on a car, [the cyclist] just came off a side street. It’s not from any negligence that may have happened.’’
    ‘‘If she didn’t look, would that be negligence? It’d be very hard to label that as negligent,’’ said Sgt. Burrows.
    It is up to all road users, including motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, to be aware of their surroundings at all times and be able to respond to events, he said.
    ‘‘The message I’m trying to get out is, road safety is everybody’s business and we all just gotta take a lot more time and caution.’’

    COMPLETE AND TOTAL B.S. !!! So, in other words, IT'S THE CYCLIST'S FAULT, and it's OK to go around flinging your door open without looking? Damn idiots on bikes shouldn't be out there in traffic anyway. Should be up on the sidewalk where they belong.

    SO WHAT EXACTLY, AS A MOTORIST, DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO A CYCLIST IN ORDER TO BE CHARGED WITH AN OFFENSE IN ONTARIO? Hang a chainsaw out the window and cut them off at the waist?

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    If you want to murder someone, it's really easy... just hit them with a car and call it an "accident".

    This is clearly a case of criminal negligence causing death.

    It's the second time someone's been killed in Toronto from dooring. The last one was about 10 yrs. ago on University Ave. That time, the driver was charged - 2 demerit points and a $105 fine. Perhaps, if that motorist was charged properly and had to go to court, more drivers might learn to be more careful.

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    genec genec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Autoworker View Post
    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...23/171461.aspx

    The death is still under investigation, but Sgt. Burrows said so far it appears to be ‘‘a tragic set of circumstances,’’ and charges against the Volvo’s driver are unlikely.
    He said the motorist may well have looked before she opened her door, saying bikes ‘‘can be hidden by a lot of things — blind spots on a car, [the cyclist] just came off a side street. It’s not from any negligence that may have happened.’’
    ‘‘If she didn’t look, would that be negligence? It’d be very hard to label that as negligent,’’ said Sgt. Burrows.
    It is up to all road users, including motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, to be aware of their surroundings at all times and be able to respond to events, he said.
    ‘‘The message I’m trying to get out is, road safety is everybody’s business and we all just gotta take a lot more time and caution.’’

    COMPLETE AND TOTAL B.S. !!! So, in other words, IT'S THE CYCLIST'S FAULT, and it's OK to go around flinging your door open without looking? Damn idiots on bikes shouldn't be out there in traffic anyway. Should be up on the sidewalk where they belong.

    SO WHAT EXACTLY, AS A MOTORIST, DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO A CYCLIST IN ORDER TO BE CHARGED WITH AN OFFENSE IN ONTARIO? Hang a chainsaw out the window and cut them off at the waist?
    From what I have seen, there is no offense that motorists will be charged against unless it involves alcohol. So it appears that motorists can get away with just about anything, as long as they are not drinking.

  8. #8
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnikcdn View Post
    ... more drivers might learn to be more careful.
    You'd think that cyclists would learn to try riding out of the door zone, too.

    Oh wait, that puts some responsibility on us... hmm, how do we get around that part...

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    Sgt. Burrows seems better qualified to be asking if customers would like fries with their orders than he is to be discussing enforcement of the law.

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    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
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    The cyclist was about my age and was riding in my neighbourhood. I checked the death notices to see if I might know him but he's not in there yet. Of course it's a densely populated area, and a big city..

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    It would be very interesting to check the Volvo driver's cellphone records, to see if she was yakking on the phone when she opened the door.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    You'd think that cyclists would learn to try riding out of the door zone, too.

    Oh wait, that puts some responsibility on us... hmm, how do we get around that part...
    Responsibilities that around here include "explaining" to a profanity and death-threat-screaming motorist why you were in the middle of the lane.

    I'm sure your average casual rider cannot wait to get into that.

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    Senior Junior Member hunyak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnikcdn View Post
    If you want to murder someone, it's really easy... just hit them with a car and call it an "accident".
    You are SO right, sadly...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Autoworker View Post
    http://network.nationalpost.com/np/b...23/171461.aspx

    The death is still under investigation, but Sgt. Burrows said so far it appears to be ‘‘a tragic set of circumstances,’’ and charges against the Volvo’s driver are unlikely.
    He said the motorist may well have looked before she opened her door, saying bikes ‘‘can be hidden by a lot of things — blind spots on a car, [the cyclist] just came off a side street. It’s not from any negligence that may have happened.’’
    ‘‘If she didn’t look, would that be negligence? It’d be very hard to label that as negligent,’’ said Sgt. Burrows.
    It is up to all road users, including motorists, pedestrians and cyclists, to be aware of their surroundings at all times and be able to respond to events, he said.
    ‘‘The message I’m trying to get out is, road safety is everybody’s business and we all just gotta take a lot more time and caution.’’

    COMPLETE AND TOTAL B.S. !!! So, in other words, IT'S THE CYCLIST'S FAULT, and it's OK to go around flinging your door open without looking? Damn idiots on bikes shouldn't be out there in traffic anyway. Should be up on the sidewalk where they belong.

    SO WHAT EXACTLY, AS A MOTORIST, DO YOU HAVE TO DO TO A CYCLIST IN ORDER TO BE CHARGED WITH AN OFFENSE IN ONTARIO? Hang a chainsaw out the window and cut them off at the waist?
    Uh, Burrows...? NOT LOOKING WHEN YOU OPEN A CAR DOOR INTO TRAFFIC IS NEGLIGENT!!!! NOT HARD TO LABEL AT ALL!!!! And as far as 'it's not from any negligence that may have happened', WHERE DO YOU GET OFF WITH THAT?!?! That's what INVESTIGATIONS are for, not the spoken opinion of a PIO!

    Yes, the cyclist should have been out a bit further to avoid getting doored; yes, drivers go nuts when they can't just childishly do as they please and hog the road. But I'll take the argument over getting run over by a truck.

    It's YOUR life, whether someone else agrees with your choices or not; ride to protect and defend it, cuz (OBVIOUSLY!) no one else will.

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    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
    You'd think that cyclists would learn to try riding out of the door zone, too.

    Oh wait, that puts some responsibility on us... hmm, how do we get around that part...
    Gotta agree with you there.

    Don't ride in the door zone!

    If you can't stand the "heat" by taking the lane on a thoroughfare with onstreet parking, then you should find a different route.

    This city that I live in is OVERRUN with onstreet parking, to the point where I find myself playing chicken with idiot oncoming cagers taking a 1/3rd of MY LANE.

    But I still REFUSE to cower in the path of opening doors.
    And so should us all.

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    Well it's interesting if you consider that all "accidents" are cases of one or more people being stupid.. so from that point of view I can sort of understand the law enforcement position.
    If two cars collide, causing deaths on either side, likely one or more of them are at fault too - so it's kind of a grey area in which case you call it murder, and in which case you call it just an unfortunate accident.

    Understand I think motorists need to be aware of cyclists and have that responsibility, but just looking from the big picture of all "accidents".

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    Quote Originally Posted by ATAC49er View Post
    NOT LOOKING WHEN YOU OPEN A CAR DOOR INTO TRAFFIC IS NEGLIGENT!
    Yes it is.. but so are most "accidents".
    A few months ago I was parked in front of a building and started backing up to pull out to the street. I looked over my right shoulder where traffic was coming, and didn't notice the pedestrians walking in my blind spot to the left.
    Luckily I did notice them in time when I did a second look, but it was a close call.
    I felt horrible and stupid, and it stuck with me thankfully..

    Likewise my car was once totaled when I was driving straight through an intersection and someone pulled out without giving me enough time to stop. They miscalculated the space needed to safely pass.

    In both cases someone could have died, and luckily no one did.
    But my point is that mistakes are a given when humans come together to share the road, since no humans are perfect.
    If we are going to persecute mistakes as a crime then we should probably outlaw human transportation since it's inevitable.

    Just my world view I guess, but I think people always look for someone to blame when things go wrong, but really we are all to blame by design ..

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    accorn, I don't have a problem with what you're saying; i DO have a problem with this Sgt. Burrows saying that NOT looking before opening a car is not negligent -- the target of my response. Please read a bit closer.

  19. #19
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by accorn View Post
    If we are going to persecute mistakes as a crime then we should probably outlaw human transportation since it's inevitable.
    I wonder what the annual road carnage was in 1900.

    It's automobiles that make "human transportation" dangerous.
    The monkeys can't handle the horsepower.

  20. #20
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    http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/429606

    May 24, 2008 01:28 PM
    Laura Stone
    Staff Reporter
    A 10-year-old boy was struck by a car this morning while riding a bike in the city’s downtown east end.

    Police say the child was hit while crossing Queen St. E, on the east side of Sarah Ashbridge Ave., in the Queen E. and Woodbine Ave. area, just before 11 a.m.

    Staff Sergeant Donald Hale of 55 Division says the driver “wasn’t paying attention to the flashing lights” when the boy was struck as he crossed the street.

    The child sustained a minor leg injury, without broken bones, and was taken to Toronto East General Hospital by ambulance.

    Police say the child was riding by himself when he was struck, and a passerby witnessed the incident and called police.

    He was wearing a helmet.

    The driver has been charged with careless driving. The police will not release the name because the matter is still under investigation.


    SO WHY IS THIS DRIVER BEING CHARGED, AND NOT THE ONE WHO KILLED A GUY BY OPENING HER DOOR WITHOUT LOOKING, WHICH IS CLEARLY IN VIOLATION OF THE HIGHWAY TRAFFIC ACT? ???

    NOTE: I'm not saying this guy shouldn't have been charged. I just can't wrap my head around the fact that the woman who killed a guy by opening her door without looking wasn't charged.

    Yeah, she's going to have to live with the fact that she killed a guy through her carelessness, but the fact that the police didn't charge her is going to allow her to justify her actions, and ultimately place the blame on the cyclist.

  21. #21
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    Either the paper or the police have changed their tune slightly:

    http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/429709

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    Looks to me like the paper knew there was more to it, and the P.D. realized they can't have that idiot Burrows doing all their talking for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
    Responsibilities that around here include "explaining" to a profanity and death-threat-screaming motorist why you were in the middle of the lane.

    I'm sure your average casual rider cannot wait to get into that.
    True. However, a cyclist has three choices.

    1. Ride on Eglinton, and stay out of the door zone (for those not familiar, Eglinton is a heavily trafficked thoughfare, often quite congested, with two narrow traffic lanes in each direction, the outside lane of which is usually filled with parked cars). "Staying out of the door zone" is going to involve taking the remaining traffic lane, and if you are riding like a typical 57-year old man (ie not as fast as a younger rider) you are not going to make many friends in the motorist community regardless of the rights and wrongs. A polite Torontonian is going to find that difficult.

    2. Ride in the door zone.

    3. Stay off Eglinton.


    Personally, I usually go for (3) when possible, as I find side streets much more pleasant and not that much slower. I've done (1) from time to time, depending on how brave and energetic (and ready for potential abuse) I'm feeling that day. (I don't mind heavy SLOW traffic, but heavy traffic moving faster than I can ride is worrying). (2) is never a good idea.

    Those are the choices. Everyone riding on a street like Eglinton should take a bike safety course and learn about the "door zone".

    As for charging the door opener (ie REALLY charging her with criminal negligence causing death and giving her a jail sentence, as opposed to a trivial fine), I don't think it matters that much. People are going to fling open their doors without looking, no matter what (motorists do need to get out of their cars sometime).... and IMHO the cyclist should NEVER be riding in the door zone anyway! I don't like the idea of placing all the onus on the motorist to never never open a car door and hit a cyclist (the incidence of which will never be reduced to zero), and placing none of the onus to teach cyclists to ride properly (so that they are never in the door zone in the first place). And the dead guy doesn't actually care if charges get laid, he's still dead.

    If you're going to operate a vehicle of any sort on a street like Eglinton, you are no longer a "casual cyclist", and there is no excuse for not learning how to operate the vehicle properly!
    Last edited by Darrenmc; 06-05-08 at 06:47 AM.

  24. #24
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    Update: Yet Another change of tune.

    http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/450857

  25. #25
    Member bingham333's Avatar
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    "Traffic Services, said that it was likely an accident and it does not look like charges will be laid."

    accident? did his door just open itself? doubt it. he opened his door intentionally and he is responsible for looking that no one car or bike is coming.

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