This is my submission to the Car Dooring Bill Inquiry.
You can find out more about the Car Dooring Bill and make a submission via [this link] courtesy of Greg Barber and the Greens.
=================Road Safety Amendment (Car Doors) 2012
Dear Mr McDonald,
In this submission "Car dooring" refers to the situation where a motorist opens their car door and a cyclist is forced to take evasive action or collides with the car door.
I am a regular commuting and recreational cyclist.
I have personally witnessed a "car dooring" in Auburn Road Hawthorn as a cyclist was approaching Riversdale Road travelling south. A motorist opened their car door without looking and a cyclist collided with it, just after the section where the on road bicycle lane finishes.
A colleague was also badly injured when his arm was severed by a car window after a car door was opened and he collided with it while riding his bicycle just outside Flinders Street station.
I recommend the following relating to "car dooring" incidents:
1. "Car dooring" should be an offence.
2. Liability for car dooring incidents should be assumed for the motorist opening the car door.
3. An on the spot fine of $500.00 should be levied, increased to $2000.00 if the cyclist is injured
4. Mandatory reporting for all car dooring incidents should be brought in
5. Police should not have discretion to not charge motorists for car dooring offences
6. Bicycle lanes should not be implemented within the range that car doors can reach when opened. Safe bicycle lanes should commence outside the range of car doors, or preferably, bicycle routes should be physically separated from other vehicle traffic such as cars, trucks and buses.
7. A car dooring incident should attract at least 6 demerit points for the licence holder.
The Victorian Government has a duty of care for the people of Victoria. It is important that strong measures be taken to reduce the incidence of "car dooring" by increasing penalties, more driver education about avoiding "car dooring" and by provision of bicycle routes and paths physically separated from other vehicle traffic.
(home address supplied)