Call for action on doorings

Equipment and On Road Behaviour, Laws and Rules. Cycling Promotion and Advocacy

Call for action on doorings

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:20 am

It seems that a tragic death last year (which had an apalling police response) has become a bit of a tipping point for more serious consultation and maybe action.

Vale James Cross

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Coroner Heather Spooner said Cross' death was entirely preventable. ''It has highlighted a very significant public safety hazard, particularly in high-risk areas where car dooring is responsible for many injuries to cyclists,'' she said.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/cycli ... z1el4tL3zI
Last edited by il padrone on Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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by BNA » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:33 am

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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby sogood » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:33 am

Education, desperately needed. And it should be directed to both parties. Car drivers are unaware of the danger they pose and inexperienced cyclists don't know the critical need to avoid the situation.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby greyhoundtom » Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:51 am

sogood wrote:Education, desperately needed. And it should be directed to both parties. Car drivers are unaware of the danger they pose and inexperienced cyclists don't know the critical need to avoid the situation.

...........and other road users get upset because riding away from the “Dooring Zone” they then see you as “Illegally” encroaching on their part of the road. :roll:
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby jules21 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 9:37 am

sogood wrote:Education, desperately needed.

more than just that - enforcement.

police have enforcement policies, which are intended to guide how discretion is applied by police in a (hopefully) consistent manner. a colleague of mine was doored and similarly told by the officer he reported it to that no charge would be laid. it's inexplicable why they wouldn't. i can only guess there is some kind of misguided prosecution policy to be lenient to motorists opening their doors in traffic, that is discouraging them from issuing fines. The Age article and BV specifically call for change on that.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:15 am

There is NO EXCUSE for it. Drivers have a legal obligation not to open car doors in the face of traffic! This is where the campaign should focus - an education campaign about what the law is, and strict enforcement of any contravention of the rule (hello Dr Ken Lay :idea: ).

Cyclists may be wise to stay clear of cars..... or any stopped vehicle for that matter. But the need for education is lesser in this regard.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby glennb » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:39 am

If it's true, as the article claims, that he hit her door when it was only opened 12cm then he was going to hit her side mirror in any case if the door wasn't opened.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby jules21 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:41 am

glennb wrote:If it's true, as the article claims, that he hit her door when it was only opened 12cm then he was going to hit her side mirror in any case if the door wasn't opened.

witnesses contradicted that and stated that she opened the door wide open.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby glennb » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:49 am

Add perjury to the manslaughter charge then.

Either way, the only safe place to ride on glenferrie rd is smack in the middle of the lane.

Calling the dooring zone along a shopping strip a "bike lane" is ludicrous.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:49 am

glennb wrote:If it's true, as the article claims, that he hit her door when it was only opened 12cm then he was going to hit her side mirror in any case if the door wasn't opened.

That is the telling fact, that says she was spinning b*!!%**t!! :roll:



I'd really love to know who this BMW-drivng ma'am is. She certainly has the police by the goolies.


[edit - for vehicular accuracy]
Last edited by il padrone on Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby glennb » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:04 am

It was a BMW, no?

Felicity Kennett fits the bill.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby il padrone » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:20 am

"Dooring" — when a motorist opens their door onto an oncoming bike — is no small issue: there have been 1112 reported incidents between 2000 and 2010 in Victoria

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/refle ... z1eloDSCzx
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby birdbrain » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:46 am

Opening a car door in the path of a cyclist is against the law. The Victorian road rules state:

"Rule 269. Opening doors and getting out of a vehicle etc...(3) A person must not cause a hazard to any person or vehicle by opening a door of a vehicle, leaving a door of a vehicle open, or getting off, or out of, a vehicle. Penalty: 2 penalty units."


2 penalty points :x
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby jules21 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 1:51 pm

il padrone wrote:I'd really love to know who this BMW-drivng ma'am is. She certainly has the police by the goolies.

she's been named - Ellen Richards, 60. slightly OT, but i grew up in hawthorn. it was always a wealthier suburb (we were not wealthy, buying there was a brilliant investment by my dad a very long time ago), but strong economic growth has seen it become a very wealthy suburb in recent decades. i'd argue that unfortunately, as the older generations have progressively passed on and sold up it has increasingly become a suburb inhabited by the higher earning, luxury car driving, "what's in it for me?" demographic. her actions in the aftermath of her causing james cross' death demonstrate only concern for her own interests - despite the fact that the law severely limits how she could have been punished. she could have admitted guilt and would not have been able to have been charged with anything too serious.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby trailgumby » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:36 pm

Instead of whingeing here, whinge to your local Councillors instead and get some action

Example letter here: viewtopic.php?f=53&t=46865

Update: already had two responses.
Last edited by trailgumby on Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby sogood » Sat Nov 26, 2011 2:42 pm

jules21 wrote:"what's in it for me?" demographic...

I wouldn't demarcate the boundary that way. There's a "what's in it for me" cohort in every socio-economic group.

As for being 60. I've seen quite a few elderly throwing their driver side door open. By observation, many of them are physically weaker and slower, and with the weight of car doors these day, throwing it open is the norm. Taking it further, maybe there's something the manufacturers can do.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby greyhoundtom » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:16 pm

sogood wrote:<SNIP>Taking it further, maybe there's something the manufacturers can do.

Like a couple of sensors in the edge of the door that stop the door from opening any further than 80mm if movement is detected within say 50 metres.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby jules21 » Sat Nov 26, 2011 3:30 pm

sogood wrote:As for being 60. I've seen quite a few elderly throwing their driver side door open. By observation, many of them are physically weaker and slower, and with the weight of car doors these day, throwing it open is the norm. Taking it further, maybe there's something the manufacturers can do.

already done. all new cars have doors hinges with cams that 'hold' the door, usually at 2 interim positions before reaching the fully open position. to open the door fully, you've got to apply positive force to push past each notch in the door hinge. it's typically only older cars, particularly when those notches have worn down, on which the doors 'fly' open.

i would suspect that a likely scenario was that she threw her door open with the authority of someone who knows where they're going and needs to be there in a hurry, and with the help of her lawyer, did not allow a small thing like a student-cyclist's death slow her down for very long (i'm procrastinating today - i looked her up with Slim's links and you can see a gap in her Tweets around the time of the fatality - before she resumes again).

my apologies in advance if that's not her, but she fits the profile.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby Xplora » Sat Nov 26, 2011 10:00 pm

So basically Ellen Richards is a murderer? What a great legacy she leaves for her nation and suburb - a stuck up snake in the grass proved that an expensive lawyer was more important than telling the truth, or another person's life. God help her once she draws her final breath :oops:
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby Baalzamon » Sat Nov 26, 2011 11:47 pm

I had to swing wide one day to avoid a door. No I wasn't in the door zone, I was in the lane in my car.... Didn't even look I could have torn that door off and even worse. Not seeing a bike is one thing, not seeing a car is another. People need to look to make sure it's safe to open their car door before opening and look properly! Mirror is not good enough a head check is needed.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby jules21 » Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:49 am

Xplora wrote:So basically Ellen Richards is a murderer?

clearly she's not. it was an 'accident' - meaning it was surely not deliberate. however, her reaction - to immediately lawyer up and take measures to protect herself speaks volumes. obviously we don't know all the facts and i'm just going on those that were publicised, but they aren't flattering of her.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby Oxford » Sun Nov 27, 2011 9:16 am

murder implies premeditation, not the case here, manslaughter, ie the accidental killing of someone (no premeditation) is a possibility, but you need the police to proceed against her and not even issuing a TIN is an absolute disgrace. the police and the Victorian government should hang their heads in shame. ellen richards is an oxygen thief of the highest order for her actions in this matter.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby Ross » Sun Nov 27, 2011 10:45 am

AFAIK manslaughter is similar to murder but the difference being the intent was to harm the person, not kill them. I doubt the motorist saw the cyclist and thought "I'll swing the door open now and knock this guy off the bike". The motorist just would of been careless and not looked before opening the door.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby il padrone » Sun Nov 27, 2011 11:52 am

Ross wrote:AFAIK manslaughter is similar to murder but the difference being the intent was to harm the person, not kill them. I doubt the motorist saw the cyclist and thought "I'll swing the door open now and knock this guy off the bike". The motorist just would of been careless and not looked before opening the door.

You've got the definition wrong there.

http://www.lawhandbook.sa.gov.au/ch10s05s01s02.php
Manslaughter

Like murder, manslaughter requires that:

the victim has died, and
an act of the defendant’s contributed significantly to their death.

However, the final element that is required to establish murder, that is, that the defendant intended to cause death or grievous bodily harm or knew that their actions would result in death or bodily harm, is not present in a case of manslaughter


Various types of manslaughter are applied. Manslaughter can include accidents and seriously negligent behaviour. Culpable driving is essentially vehicular manslaughter, there is rarely any intent to cause harm in these cases.

In cases of manslaughter: there may have been a 'murder' but mitigating circumstances (eg. provocation) reduce the charge to manslaughter; there may have been recklessness or some intent to cause harm (eg. a fight); the death may have been accidental in the course of another non-violent crime; or the death may have resulted from criminal negligence. Not sure whether this BMW door-swinger's negligence would be regarded as severe enough to be criminal :?:

Does not change the fact that the police should have been applying any relevant road traffic penalty upon her :evil:
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby lucky7 » Mon Nov 28, 2011 7:22 am

Has anyone written to the Chief Commissioner Victoria Police to enquire as to why no charges were laid? I would have thought a flood of letters demanding an explanation would at least give the public the opportunity to hear why the Police had not issued an Infringement Notice. Glenferrie Rd falls within the area covered by Boroondara Police Station - start with a letter to the Officer in Charge. If that gets nothing, go one step up the foodchain until you reach the stop. I would be happy to start this off, however possible conflicts could arise due to my professional life.

If anyone is interested, I am happy to draft up a pro forma letter that others can adopt and send on.
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Re: Call for action on doorings

Postby gorilla monsoon » Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:26 am

sogood wrote:
jules21 wrote:"what's in it for me?" demographic...

I wouldn't demarcate the boundary that way. There's a "what's in it for me" cohort in every socio-economic group.

As for being 60. I've seen quite a few elderly throwing their driver side door open. By observation, many of them are physically weaker and slower, and with the weight of car doors these day, throwing it open is the norm. Taking it further, maybe there's something the manufacturers can do.


Well, every car I drive has this thing attached to the outside of the door called a "rearview mirror" and I look in it to see if there are bicycles, motorcycles, cars, trucks or anything else before I open the door. Maybe others can do the same?
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