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Number of cyclists hit by car doors up more than 50 per cent: study

CityNews | posted Thursday, Mar 9th, 2017

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A new report from Cycle Toronto says the number of cyclists hit by car doors is up by 58 per cent in two years.

The data was provided to Cycle Toronto, an organization the promotes biking in the city, by Toronto Police.

“It’s an alarming statistic,” Coun. Mike Layton told 680 NEWS on Wednesday.

“Dooring is a very serious safety concern for cyclists and for drivers. It’s something that we don’t pay enough attention to.”

Layton, who has been “doored” himself, says more education is needed.

Mayor John Tory says he’s open to discuss changes to lane layouts and provincial legislation to address dooring concerns.

“There are improvements we can make to the configuration of the bike lanes to try and minimize this,” Tory said. “But the key to [minimizing] this issue will be public education.”

In the video below, a cyclist is doored as someone steps out of a truck.

In 2014, 132 cyclists were hit by a car door. In 2015, that number went up to 175. In 2016, it was 209.

Cycle Toronto is critical of the City of Toronto’s existing road safety plan, which does not include dooring collisions. In 2016, there were 1,279 collisions involving cyclists reported to police, including those who were doored.

Cycle Toronto said streets with bike lanes had lower rates of dooring collisions than streets without them. The dooring rates on streets with protected bike lanes, such as on Richmond and Adelaide streets, were even lower.

“We advise building [protected bike lanes] on Bloor Street West and Yonge Street as soon as possible,” Jared Kolb, executive director of Cycle Toronto said in a statement.

“At the end of the day, people riding bicycles are just average Torontonians trying to get from A to B like everyone else. They shouldn’t have to risk lasting physical trauma or death to do so.”

The fine for dooring a cyclist was increased to $365 plus three demerit points in 2015. Before that, the fine could range from $60 to $500.

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