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Cyclists push for a motion to reduce 'dooring' collisions

Last Updated Nov 25, 2017 at 8:20 pm EDT

A motion is set to come before a city committee next week which attempts to address the concerns of cyclists, who say incidents of dooring are on the rise in Toronto.

The Motion to Reduce the Number of “Doorings” in Toronto, will go to the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee for consideration on Wednesday morning. In it, the Board of Health outlines a number of recommendations directed towards the city, including writing a letter to the Premier, and Ontario’s Attorney General and Minister of Transportation.

The letter penned by cycling advocates asks that data be kept on the number of dooring collisions and that changes be made to the Highway Traffic Act which makes drivers “at least partially responsible when passengers door a cyclist.”

It also calls for new drivers to be taught a new method of opening driver and passenger doors as part of the G1 Knowledge Test. The Dutch Reach, used in the Netherlands, involves drivers and passengers opening car doors using their farthest hands. The argument is this will force drivers to turn their bodies and do a shoulder check, helping to reduce any incidents involving cyclists.

“It is a growing problem,” said Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca. “We know that this continues to be a challenge, and often the results of a dooring incident can be quite tragic. So we want to make sure we have the right kinds of sanctions in place and we’re working with all our road safety partners.”

“I’d be open to the conversation, but just to stress, the province has already made the penalties tougher for dooring,” he added

The fine for any driver caught dooring is $365 and three demerit points.

This meeting comes two months after a letter asked the Board of Health to consider the dangers associated with dooring collisions. The report states that over the years, the incidents have been on the rise.

Dooring Collisions

2014 – 132 incidents

2015 – 175 incidents

2016 – 209 incidents

Source: Cycle Toronto via the Toronto Police Service

The letter also states while the taxi industry trains its drivers, ride-sharing services fall behind in that department.

“There is a need for more stringent training for ride-sharing drivers,” the letter reads. “Some taxis have installed rear view mirrors on their rear doors so passengers can check for bicycles and other traffic before exiting the vehicle.”