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CHATTER: Cyclists prey for open doors (Dec. 2017)

December 15th, 2017 · No Comments

The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee (PWIC) of city council has been asked to help reduce the number of “doorings” — when a car door is opened into the path of an oncoming cyclist — in Toronto. Although this falls under the provincial jurisdiction of the Highway Traffic Act, one advocate believes the city needs to act.

“These are completely preventable accidents,” says Chris Glover (Ward 2, Etobicoke Centre), who brought the motion forward. He’s a trustee with the Toronto District School Board Trustee and a member of the Toronto Board of Health. “We need both levels of government to take measures to reduce doorings and to keep cyclists safe.”

Bike advocacy group CycleTO reports that the number of doorings has increased from 132 in 2014 to 209 in 2016. Many of these accidents lead to serious injuries and have even led to deaths. In 2011, the provincial government downgraded doorings from “accidents” to “incidents” because they involve a stopped car.

At committee, Glover demonstrated how to prevent doorings with simple measures like the “Dutch Reach”, a method of opening a car taught in the Netherlands: drivers use their right hand to open their car door, forcing them to swivel in their seat and do a shoulder check for oncoming cyclists. Teaching the Dutch Reach in Ontario is one of the recommendations in the motion.

PWIC referred Glover’s recommendations to city staff for further advice.

—Brian Burchell, Gleaner News

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