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Old 05-08-14, 08:23 AM   #1
eidoriansan
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Doored by a NYC taxi on the way to work today...

Conditions were light rain, incident occurred around 9:45am between 6th & 7th ave on 54th St heading east on the bike lane.

There's a pedestrian avenue called "6 1/2 Ave" with a stop sign for motorists. Usually the cars stop there, let pedestrians by then continue. However, even with a long line of cars behind him, the cab decided to let the passenger out on the left side into the bike lane while stopped at the stop sign, flinging his door directly into my path with no time to react. Hit the door and luckily had a soft fall onto the street with no injuries save for a sore heel (had a helmet on but didn't make contact), but shocked me pretty badly. After making sure I was ok, passenger said "I sure learned my lesson". Then the cabbie asked if I was OK, then turned around to see the guy running away on foot.

Lucky I didn't sustain injuries, but will make me super paranoid about stopped cabs from this day on.
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Old 05-08-14, 08:45 AM   #2
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Glad your ok, and good lesson learned. Presume someone is going to get out of any stopped cab. Doesn't mean it was your fault, but you need to assume that people will do stupid stuff.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:23 PM   #3
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I'm glad you're OK. Many doored cyclests are not. There's more you could have done besides being paranoid about stopped taxis. You should have taken the cab's number and reported the incident to the City's Taxi and Limousine Commission. That would have made the cab driver paranoid about discharging passengers in an illegal manner.

The cab driver was at fault. There are locks on the passenger doors that are controlled by the cab driver. He should have prevented the passenger from opening the door. NYC Traffic Rules are very specific regarding where taxi drivers may discharge passengers to wit Section 4-11 of NYC Traffic Rules

(c) Pickup and discharge of passengers by taxis, commuter vans and for-hire vehicles. Operators of taxis, commuter vans and for-hire vehicles may, in the course of the lawful operation of such vehicles, temporarily stop their vehicles to expeditiously pick up or discharge passengers at the curb in areas where standing or parking is prohibited. Taxis, commuter vans and for-hire vehicles, while engaged in picking up or discharging passengers must be within 12 inches of the curb and parallel thereto, but may stop or stand to pick up or discharge passengers alongside a vehicle parked at the curb only if there is no unoccupied curb space available within 100 feet of the pickup or discharge location; however, picking up or discharging passengers shall not be made:
(1) Within a pedestrian crosswalk.
(2) Within an intersection, except on the side of a roadway opposite a street which intersects but does not cross such roadway.
(3) Alongside or opposite any street excavation when stopping to pick up or discharge passengers obstructs traffic.
(4) Under such conditions as to obstruct the movement of traffic and in no instance so as to leave fewer than 10 feet available for the free movement of vehicular traffic.
(5) Where stopping is prohibited.
(6) Within a bicycle lane.
(7) Within horse-drawn carriage boarding areas.


From your description the taxi driver violated at least two provisions that allowed him to discharge the passenger more than 12 inches from the curb - items 4 and 6.

The NYC Council is currently debating a series of bills under the Vision Zero umbrella. Several are designed to make taxi drivers more responsible for their actions. Taxi driver representatives are claiming such legislation targets them unfairly. They are also claiming they are among the safest drivers in the City. The best way to counter their assertions is to make sure that no transgression goes unreported.
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Old 05-08-14, 06:34 PM   #4
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Welcome to the forum.

I would assume being "doored by a taxi" in NYC is like getting chased by a dog upstate. Ride enough miles, it's gonna happen.
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Old 05-08-14, 07:22 PM   #5
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Even though there's a mandate for driver controlled passenger doors, they either don't work right, or the driver was actively at fault. (I assume) that cab doors are the same as all modern cars and automatically lock when the car exceeds 3mph. If so, the rear doors would still be locked when the cab stopped. In which case the driver would have to actively unlock the door for an exiting passenger.

I don't know if drivers can selectively unlock the left or right door, but if that feature doesn't yet exist it should.

Giving drivers active control is important because it eliminates the "he jumped out before I could react" excuse.

BTW- drivers also benefit from passenger doors that stay locked until unlocked. It would be somewhat intimidating for those considering robberies or assaults against drivers.
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Old 05-09-14, 12:37 AM   #6
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OP, what was your speed? I've had similar experience and the only way to avoid it for me is to ride slow near parked taxis.
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Old 05-09-14, 03:29 AM   #7
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OP, I am glad you survived.
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Old 05-10-14, 07:08 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by FBinNY View Post
Even though there's a mandate for driver controlled passenger doors, they either don't work right, or the driver was actively at fault. (I assume) that cab doors are the same as all modern cars and automatically lock when the car exceeds 3mph. If so, the rear doors would still be locked when the cab stopped. In which case the driver would have to actively unlock the door for an exiting passenger.

I don't know if drivers can selectively unlock the left or right door, but if that feature doesn't yet exist it should.

Giving drivers active control is important because it eliminates the "he jumped out before I could react" excuse.

BTW- drivers also benefit from passenger doors that stay locked until unlocked. It would be somewhat intimidating for those considering robberies or assaults against drivers.
Not ALL modern cars have automatic door locking. My 2011 doesn't, and neither do the 2012, 2013, 2014 versions of my vehicle. I'm sure there are others (I think my dad's 2009 Kia didn't have it). My 2006 had the feature but it was easily configurable/turned off by the owner using a customize mode on the dash.

Even with automatic locks, nothing is stopping the passenger/fare from manually unlocking the door and opening it unless something is installed to prevent such action.
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Old 05-10-14, 07:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Not ALL modern cars have automatic door locking. My 2011 doesn't, and neither do the 2012, 2013, 2014 versions of my vehicle. I'm sure there are others (I think my dad's 2009 Kia didn't have it). My 2006 had the feature but it was easily configurable/turned off by the owner using a customize mode on the dash.

Even with automatic locks, nothing is stopping the passenger/fare from manually unlocking the door and opening it unless something is installed to prevent such action.
It's my understanding that the NYC T&LC is considering, (or has adopted) a rule that requires cabs to have driver controlled rear door locks. But I don't know if they're individually controlled left and right.
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Last edited by FBinNY; 05-10-14 at 07:15 PM.
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Old 05-10-14, 07:17 PM   #10
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It's my understanding that the NYC T&LC is considering, (or has adopted) a rule that requires cabs to have driver controlled rear door locks. But I don't know if they're individually controlled left and right.
Fine, you probably know that better than I. What I was noting was that you posted
Quote:
(I assume) that cab doors are the same as all modern cars and automatically lock when the car exceeds 3mph.
That's not the case, not ALL modern cars have automatic door locks, and many that I've seen that do lock at 15 MPH.
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Old 05-11-14, 09:58 PM   #11
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The door locks have been a safety problem in preventing people from getting out of the car after a crash and several women burned to death on the San Meteo bridge when the car caught fire and they couldn't get out.
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Old 05-11-14, 10:10 PM   #12
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BTW- drivers also benefit from passenger doors that stay locked until unlocked. It would be somewhat intimidating for those considering robberies or assaults against drivers.
There were also real cases where the taxi driver was the assailant who prevented the passenger victim from getting off.
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Old 05-11-14, 10:12 PM   #13
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The door locks have been a safety problem in preventing people from getting out of the car after a crash and several women burned to death on the San Meteo bridge when the car caught fire and they couldn't get out.
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There were also real cases where the taxi driver was the assailant who prevented the passenger victim from getting off.

In every decision or action, there's the risk and reality of rare negative consequences. Nothing is perfect, so we make trade offs based on the big picture. We take medicines, knowing there's a risk of side effects, but we take them anyway because the known likely problem they help with trumps the rare chance of a side effect.

Same with automatic door locks. I don't like them because they're a PIA. But they've prevented countless ejections in collisions. OTOH, as you two point out they're not perfect for every circumstance.

BY way of analogy, most cyclists feel that cycling is good for their health. But a decent number die every year from bike accidents. The majority get some benefit, the few draw the short straw.
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WARNING, I'm from New York. Thin skinned people should maintain safe distance.

Last edited by FBinNY; 05-11-14 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 05-12-14, 11:17 AM   #14
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My speed was somewhere around 6-8mph. I didn't' think of taking the cabbie's number, but should have done that.
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