New private member’s bill asking province to track “dooring” incidents
by Jamie Stuckless, Executive Director, Share the Road Cycling Coalition
At a press conference this morning, MPP Jessica Bell introduced her new private member’s bill, which would require the province to track dooring incidents. Share the Road was on hand to speak in support of the bill.
Being hit with an opening car door while riding a bicycle is commonly referred to as “being doored”. These incidents are incredibly painful and have been fatal here in Ontario. In 2015, the provincial government recognized the seriousness of dooring incidents and increased the fines from $110 to $365. Share the Road was supportive of this change.
Despite increasing the fine for dooring incidents, the province does not consider them to be “reportable collisions” because the motor vehicle is not in motion. This means that police are not required to track dooring incidents as collisions and the province does not record them as part of their Annual Road Safety report. This is a problem for cycling safety.
While a few individual police forces in Ontario have chosen to collect data on dooring incidents – like the Toronto Police Service has chosen to do – most forces collect data based on what is mandated by the province. Having recognized doorings as serious enough to merit an increased fine, the province should take the lead and require all dooring incidents to be tracked as collisions.
If we are not consistently tracking dooring incidents, we are unable to understand dooring trends and hot spots or identify meaningful solutions to prevent them in the first place. The current system also creates inconsistencies and confusion across different jurisdictions.
We would like to see this change and we are pleased to support MPP Bell’s private members bill alongside Cycle Toronto and Friends & Families for Safe Streets.
Thank you to MPP Bell and her team for prioritizing the safety of people cycling in Ontario.
This bill is part of ongoing efforts to eliminate dooring incidents in Ontario. Earlier this year, Share the Road supported the Teach the Reach bill introduced by MPP Marit Stiles, which sought to include the “Dutch Reach” technique in all provincial driver training materials. You can read more about that online here.