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By Patrick Brown and Lindsay Charles
Between 2007 and 2011 an average of 144 “dooring” accidents were reported in Toronto. “Dooring” occurs when an oncoming cyclist hits an abruptly opened car door.
A recent change to the Provincial definition of a collision now requires a vehicle to be in “motion” to be considered a collision. The new definition excluding “dooring”, has forced police to stop investigating accidents where cyclists have been “doored”. In the summer months where tourists and commuters take to the congested Torontonian streets, a lack of monitoring of “dooring” incidents is of great concern.
But fear not, while police officers must wait to be ordered to begin monitoring these kinds of accidents again, one young Torontonian has come up with a solution to the lack of monitoring. His plan; create an online database designed as a self-reporting system for cyclists who have been plagued with the horrible fate of getting “doored”.
Site users will simply indicate where and when the incident took place and a description of the incident. Users will also have the opportunity to upload photos. The project is aimed to help Torontonians recognize which routes are particularly dangerous to avoid future “dooring” incidents. The Toronto web-designer ultimately hopes that the project will draw attention to the numerous “dooring” crashes which will force police to again keep track of these collisions.
Pressure to restart police tracking of “dooring”, and to keep Toronto streets safer for cyclists also comes from Cycle Toronto. In their article they remind Toronto Police of the Toronto Police Service’s 2013 Business Plan which has the goal to increase traffic enforcement and education to better protect the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. Evidently, the removal of “dooring” tracking is a step in the wrong direction.
Cycling accidents can result in orthopaedic, brain or spinal injuries – even death. Help prevent other Torontonians from injury and report when you get “doored”!