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  1. #1
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Doored by passenger exiting a cab?

    Police urged to charge passenger after cyclist car-doored in CBD

    Victoria Police are being urged to investigate a collision in Melbourne's CBD involving a cyclist and a man who opened the passenger-side door of a taxi into the rider's path.

    The female cyclist was knocked from her bike as she rode along Collins Street on Monday evening.

    Footage of the crash has since been posted on YouTube because the woman had a camera attached to her bike handlebars.

    For more:
    Police urged to charge passenger after cyclist car-doored in CBD


    Interesting to see if the police follow it up and if the may behind the dooring is charged. Let's see how long it takes for these guys to be identified.

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    While they should get the fine for dooring and perhaps leaving the scene of an accident, I would have never been riding up that 1'-wide shoulder in the first place.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    While they should get the fine for dooring and perhaps leaving the scene of an accident, I would have never been riding up that 1'-wide shoulder in the first place.
    Looks like one is not even safe from idiot motorists wherever one travels on the roadway.

    Cyclist gets doored - YouTube

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    Senior Member Jim from Boston's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spivonious View Post
    While they should get the fine for dooring and perhaps leaving the scene of an accident, I would have never been riding up that 1'-wide shoulder in the first place.
    My cardinal rule for city cycling is “Like a ***, assume every stopped car is loaded (with an occupant ready to exit).”, and that holds true for both sides of a vehicle. especially if one filters at a traffic stop.

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    Senior Member dynodonn's Avatar
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    As I posted in another thread, it's sad to see a number motorists and their passengers can act like brainless ****s with a sense of impunity, and even larger number of vulnerable road users have to use all their given skills to out wit them.

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    I don't know what the law is in Australia but here the person who opens the door into traffic would be at fault.

    That being said the law in and of itself can't protect vulnerable road users, common sense needs to be exercised to protect ourselves while riding in traffic.

    Stay out of the door zone people.

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    In NYC where we have lots of cabs, lots of bikes and lots of congestion, it's illegal for a passenger to exit a cab on the traffic side. The law is sound, but doesn't change reality much, and experienced cyclists recognized a cab pulled over and stopped as a dooring ready to happen.

    OTOH, the NYC law isn't applied to passengers who open the door, but the driver who allowed it. This makes sense, since it's not logical to expect passengers who may not be drivers, or may even be foreigners who don't even speak the language to know NYs traffic code.

    I've always felt that with door lock technology being what it is, cabs should be equipped with right/left door lock circuits, with the driver having to release doors individually for entry or exit. (Maybe they already are, it's been years since I was in an NYC cab)
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    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    In other countries, there are laws, or lack of, which encourage filtering. Even amenities like bike "boxes" at the head of traffic lanes, to give groups of cyclists, scooter pilots, moped riders, and motorcyclists room in the travel lane ahead of cars at at stop light.

    While this shows an ideal situation, with a bike lane leading to a bike box, examples I saw in UK a decade ago were just boxes at the head of the travel lane, no marked bike lanes, and any two-wheeled road user were taking advantage of them after filtering forward:



    In most of the USA with the exception of California, lane-sharing is not permitted, against the law. Were a situation to happen similar to this in the USA, who is at fault or more fault, the door opener or the lane-splitting cyclist...?
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

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    vol
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    In NYC where we have lots of cabs, lots of bikes and lots of congestion, it's illegal for a passenger to exit a cab on the traffic side.

    OTOH, the NYC law isn't applied to passengers who open the door, but the driver who allowed it.
    I didn't know about this law. I was doored once by a taxi passenger in front of a hotel in midtown on 5th ave. Luckily it was amid rush hour congestion and I rode slow, but my brake lever or derailleur shifter was dislocated, as far as I can remember. Had several near hits when I stopped in time not to be hit when taxi door opened on the traffic side, again thanks to my low speed. (I slow down especially when in door zone.)

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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlyAlfaRomeo View Post
    I don't know what the law is in Australia but here the person who opens the door into traffic would be at fault.

    That being said the law in and of itself can't protect vulnerable road users, common sense needs to be exercised to protect ourselves while riding in traffic.

    Stay out of the door zone people.
    Yes, but this is Australia which means opening the door on the left side is like opening the door on the right side in America.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by vol View Post
    I didn't know about this law. I was doored once by a taxi passenger in front of a hotel in midtown on 5th ave. Luckily it was amid rush hour congestion and I rode slow, but my brake lever or derailleur shifter was dislocated, as far as I can remember. Had several near hits when I stopped in time not to be hit when taxi door opened on the traffic side, again thanks to my low speed. (I slow down especially when in door zone.)
    Vol.

    Door zone tip. Watch traffic up ahead a block or two. A newly parked or pulled over car or cab, is a door zone event waiting to happen. Doors on empty cars don't magically open, and people entering open them from the outside. So the time of greatest danger is right after a car stops or parks. Of course someone could be sitting in a parked car for a while, maybe finishing a cell phone conversation before deciding to exit, but that's a much lower odds event.

    So while the door zone is never without risk, you can manage the risk by watching for cars pulling over up ahead. Give all newly stopped cabs an especially wide berth since passengers are much less likely to be careful than drivers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    In other countries, there are laws, or lack of, which encourage filtering. Even amenities like bike "boxes" at the head of traffic lanes, to give groups of cyclists, scooter pilots, moped riders, and motorcyclists room in the travel lane ahead of cars at at stop light.

    While this shows an ideal situation, with a bike lane leading to a bike box, examples I saw in UK a decade ago were just boxes at the head of the travel lane, no marked bike lanes, and any two-wheeled road user were taking advantage of them after filtering forward:



    In most of the USA with the exception of California, lane-sharing is not permitted, against the law. Were a situation to happen similar to this in the USA, who is at fault or more fault, the door opener or the lane-splitting cyclist...?
    A couple years back a Chicago cyclist was doored by a taxi passenger as she passed the taxi on the right. The seriously injured cyclist was ticketed for passing on the right. At the time Illinois law allowed passing in the lane on the right, but only if there was at least 8 feet clearance. That situation might exist in the open on rural roads, but not generally on city streets.

    Thanks to the efforts of a number of advocacy organizations, the Illinois and Chicago vehicle codes were amended in 2013 to specifically allow bicycles to pass on the right.

    As for bike boxes, I think they're ok if there is a bike specific traffic signal which gives a left turning cyclist time to get into the box and over to the left side of the box long before the car specific signal turns green.

  13. #13
    vol
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    Thanks, FBinNY. Yes, I do ride a lot in the door zone with many parked empty cars, but I still maintain lower speed and ready to stop just in case (there is also the possibility some pedestrian J-walker suddenly emerges from between two parked cars).

    Of the dooring and near-dooring incidents I had, however, I got apology in both cases (in the hotel case, the hotel doorman also came over to say sorry), unlike the 3 taxi passengers in business suits in the above video.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
    In most of the USA with the exception of California, lane-sharing is not permitted, against the law. Were a situation to happen similar to this in the USA, who is at fault or more fault, the door opener or the lane-splitting cyclist...?
    You are misinformed. Lane-sharing or filtering by bicycles in Oregon is not illegal (and the same is true in many other states including California). Often statutes specifically target motorized traffic and motorcycles, thus providing an exemption for cyclists.

    Green bike boxes in Portland have been linked to increased collisions and one fatality. Advanced stop lines without the green pain on the side would be a better option.
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    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Vol.

    Door zone tip. Watch traffic up ahead a block or two. A newly parked or pulled over car or cab, is a door zone event waiting to happen. Doors on empty cars don't magically open, and people entering open them from the outside. So the time of greatest danger is right after a car stops or parks. Of course someone could be sitting in a parked car for a while, maybe finishing a cell phone conversation before deciding to exit, but that's a much lower odds event.

    So while the door zone is never without risk, you can manage the risk by watching for cars pulling over up ahead. Give all newly stopped cabs an especially wide berth since passengers are much less likely to be careful than drivers.
    Bolding mine.

    Good advice. In one way the one thing where I have some sympathy for the cyclist involved.

    As best I can figure this occurred on a one lane kind of thing to the left (remember Oz is like England, the opposite of America) of the road proper. It looks like there are covered waiting areas, with the enclosed side towards the single lane, which I think means they are bus stops on the main road.

    In short this looks like a passenger loading and unloading lane and there is no way to tell if a cab has stopped because those in front stopped or if someone is getting out.

    Still cutting between a even briefly slowed vehicle and the passenger side curb is foolish in the extreme.
    Perish any man who suspects that these men either did or suffered anything unseemly.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post

    While this shows an ideal situation, with a bike lane leading to a bike box,
    With due respect (and we agree on many things) how can you consider this to be the ideal situation?

    I have no problem with filtering, most urban riders do it, but to encourage it is idiotic. Laws and pavement markings which encourage unsafe or "unnatural" riding can't do anybody any good, even if the intent is to help bicyclists. Specifically legalizing filtering creates expectations of right of way that the law cannot ensure in the real world.

    It also creates legal confusion and expectations for things like buses and taxis which properly discharge passengers on the right. For longer than I've been alive, filtering was treated with benign neglect, being neither clearly legal, nor illegal (or at least not enforced except in the breach). Cyclist filter, but know they're doing so at their own risk, which is OK for all parties.

    Also having been to countries with large numbers of bicycles in cities, I can tell you that the green box idea will only lead to increased congestion and confusion at intersections. I hope that cities that try this idea, keep a stock of paint remover on hand, because they'll need it.
    Last edited by FBinNY; 03-18-14 at 04:42 PM.
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  17. #17
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    I watched the video a couple times;it doesn't look like the cab used its turn signal. It also didn't pull up to the curb. I don't know the law in AU,but here in DC those would both be violations on the part of the cab driver.

    I agree that it isn't the best idea for the rider to have been in that spot,but without signalling or pulling over,I could see how the rider thought it would be ok to filter.

    The attitude of the passengers is appalling. You just knocked someone down,can't you even bother to see if they're ok? Regardless of fault,how about a little human compassion?

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    Nobody mconlonx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    With due respect (and we agree on many things) how can you consider this to be the ideal situation?
    Whatever. Worked great for me as a motorcyclist. Saw UK cyclists using them. *Shrug*--got no opinions on the matter of bike boxes as a cyclist.

    Honestly, I only wanted to illustrate an example where filtering is allowed and indeed encouraged.

    As spare_wheel so kindly pointed out that I am misinformed, let me ask a different question: are there places in the USA where filtering through traffic on a bike is not explicitly legal, where riders are expected to adhere to motor vehicle code in which lane sharing by vehicles is not permitted? I'm not talking about to the right in a dedicated bike lane or not, I'm talking between two lines of through traffic idling at a stop light--is that generally legal?
    I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.

  19. #19
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    In short this looks like a passenger loading and unloading lane and there is no way to tell if a cab has stopped because those in front stopped or if someone is getting out.
    It is just a narrow and crappy bit of road, caused by the installation of a new 'super stop' for trams (i.e. a much wider tram stop that is raised). The cab is just stopped in traffic that is backed up from the next intersection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith99 View Post
    Still cutting between a even briefly slowed vehicle and the passenger side curb is foolish in the extreme.
    Knowing this street (Collins Street in central Melbourne) I would agree with you and I probably wouldn't have filtered beside a cab here - or would have been very damn slow and careful.

    It is a busy area for bikes, so I get why she would have been filtering.

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  20. #20
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    UPDATE

    More video and a second article...

    Man comes forward to police over CBD car-dooring
    A man shown in a video "dooring" a cyclist on a city street has come forward to police.
    Victoria Police confirmed a 65-year-old Brighton man has spoken to officers after a video showing him leaving a taxi through the passenger-side rear door in Collins Street, Melbourne, on Monday.

    Read more: Man comes forward to police over CBD car-dooring

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    Getting doored is the number 1 cause of bicycle accidents. Ya know what that means? Watch that you dont get doored. That is the number one thing I look for when riding, if I see a head in the drivers seat of a parked car I make sure I am out of the door zone, or I slow down. If I see a cab with a person in it,,,I am gonna do the same thing, get outta the door zone or slow down. There is no reason to get doored , it is the most avoidable kind of accident for a person on a bike. To charge a person in a car for that is ludicrous.

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    I finally got the chance to watch the video, and found I was misled by the right/left question because in OZ they drive to the left.

    So, IMO, unless there was a bike path, in which I might consider the cab driver at fault for creating the situation, I'd find the cyclist at fault for passing between the cab and curb. I don't know the particulars of the anti-dooring law law in Oz, but it isn't reasonable to expect people to worry when opening doors on the curb side of the vehicle.

    IMO- pass between a car and the curb, you're at your own risk. That's why trucks here have that "heaven" and "hell" signs in back.

    BTW- if that was a bike lane, then someone has to make clear the rules of the road vis a vis stopping to discharge passengers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    Vol.

    Door zone tip. Watch traffic up ahead a block or two. A newly parked or pulled over car or cab, is a door zone event waiting to happen. Doors on empty cars don't magically open, and people entering open them from the outside. So the time of greatest danger is right after a car stops or parks. Of course someone could be sitting in a parked car for a while, maybe finishing a cell phone conversation before deciding to exit, but that's a much lower odds event.

    So while the door zone is never without risk, you can manage the risk by watching for cars pulling over up ahead. Give all newly stopped cabs an especially wide berth since passengers are much less likely to be careful than drivers.
    The times, they are a changin'. Fewer than 10% of the doors that open within my view do so within thirty seconds of the car stopping/parking. I don't know how long the ones that take longer than that are taking because I rarely observe a car for more than thirty seconds. Perhaps this is a cultural difference between the east and west coasts, or perhaps it is a trend that will appear in a city near you soon. I suspect a good deal of this delay is related to communications, but of course I have no idea how much.

  24. #24
    Senior Member JonnyHK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    I finally got the chance to watch the video, and found I was misled by the right/left question because in OZ they drive to the left.
    We're strange like that! You should see me bash my left hand into the door every time I go to change gears when I'm driving in the US. My passengers never failed to get a giggle from that.


    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    So, IMO, unless there was a bike path, in which I might consider the cab driver at fault for creating the situation, I'd find the cyclist at fault for passing between the cab and curb. I don't know the particulars of the anti-dooring law law in Oz, but it isn't reasonable to expect people to worry when opening doors on the curb side of the vehicle.
    It is a substandard and vaguely painted bike 'area'. Apparently not an official bike lane, but more of an 'indicator' to ask motorists to move over. The green paint is quite worn but (see photo I posted above) can still be seen.

    There is an anti-dooring law and it has had a lot of press lately (ie folks should know about it).


    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    IMO- pass between a car and the curb, you're at your own risk. That's why trucks here have that "heaven" and "hell" signs in back.
    I agree with you there. I'd be watching the cars like a hawk and going slow in this circumstance - but the rider wasn't going quick.


    Quote Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
    BTW- if that was a bike lane, then someone has to make clear the rules of the road vis a vis stopping to discharge passengers.
    Apparently the cabbie told the passengers not to jump out there or warned them somehow just before it happened (he's made a statement).

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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
    We're strange like that! You should see me bash my left hand into the door every time I go to change gears when I'm driving in the US. My passengers never failed to get a giggle from that.
    That's OK. The very first time I drove in England, I rented a car at Heathrow in the early AM after a no sleep flight from NY, and headed up to Sheffield. I ended up "shifting" the door handle a number of times, and can't count the number of times I went around roundabouts the wrong way -- Brits back then had excellent reflexes so I made it all the way OK.

    A Canadian friend who spends lots of time in Australia is a slow learner, so he made a magnetic sign he sticks on the back of his rentals. "I'm not drunk--- I'm Canadian".

    Meanwhile, An anti dooring law, which makes drivers and passengers exiting curbside liable will only cause problems. You want people exiting curbside, rather than traffic side, so some logical rules have be put into place, Either have cabs stop in the bike lane so curbside is truly curbside, or stop buffered out into the traffic lane farther. Otherwise, people will get into the habit of exiting traffic side, which will be worse.

    Or you can adopt an anti dooring rule that applies only to proper full width bike lanes and the traffic side, and educate cyclists on the real dangers of passing stopped vehicles curbside -- especially cabs.

    I'm a cyclist, and am for cyclists, but I don't consider cyclists to be sacred cows, and laws that try to do so, only create newer and worse problems.
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