Aug 012012

While it was a great shame not to have demerit points included, the increase in dooring penalties is an example of what people who care about bike riding, safety and liveable streets, can do when we unite as a group. The media coverage from the dooring inquiry was, in Melbourne at least, in itself a great awareness raising exercise. Thankyou to Greg Barber MLC for introducing the dooring bill that gave rise to the inquiry. Thanks also to everyone who wrote to politicians and papers, made submissions to the inquiry (there were 94!!), came to the Get Pushy rally and attended the hearings. 

The final parliamentary hearing into dooring was standing room only as bike groups like the Amy Gillett Foundation, Bicycle Victoria and community members such as the family of dooring victim James Cross, Andrew Tivendale, ordinary bike riders and friends came to speak and listen, support each other and make their voices heard. The presentation from James Cross' parents, Dr Michael Cross and Dr Nicola Martin, was especially impressive, and we've attached the link in case you want to have a read.

Every so often you get a great leader who makes positive change, but in many cases politicians, especially this government, won't take any action (like for example spending more than $0 on safe bike infrastructure!!) unless pushed. We've noticed bike riders are getting a bit more PUSHY as they see what's possible, and we encourage you to keep telling your stories to politicians, telling them about infrastructure that's unsafe or just ridiculous (get photos and videos), and uniting with bike-minded people and sympathetic friends where you can. Melbourne has the potential to become a real bike city, and if we work together, we can make it happen. It might be an uphill battle, but we're used to that 😉 

In the meantime, keep enjoying those beautiful bike rides.

 Posted by at 9:18 pm

  4 Responses to “Dooring penalties: what happens when bike riders get pushy”

  1. […] We share our usual bike moments, ponder our ignorance of Olympic cycling events, discuss the changes to ‘dooring’ fines in Victoria and Val shares some handy tips about brake […]

  2. The size of the penalty is meaningless unless the law is enforced and the penalty applied.  We need to see some real statistics on the number of motorists fined over the last five or ten years, an increase in the number fined from now on and a decrease in collisions caused by doors, and not just "reported collisions" as that's meaningless when the police won't take reports.  

    I've had doors thrown open in my face since the early 1980s and fluffy "awareness raising" campaigns don't seem to be doing much to make riding any safer.

    • I agree with Adrian.  It has been impossible to get police to take any interest in car dooring incidents. 

      • I agree – the woman who killed James Cross didn’t even get a fine – see which says – in part:

        Senior police blocked the charging of a woman driver who opened her car door in a shared parking lane-cycle lane and knocked a cyclist into the path of a heavy trailer towed by a truck, a Victorian coroner says.

        James Bernard Cross, 22 died shortly after he was knocked from the marked bicycle lane into the path of the wheels of the trailer on an earthmoving truck in Glenferrie Road in the Melbourne suburb of Hawthorn on March 17 last year.

        Sen-Const. Linda Kane told Coroner Heather Spooner she had prepared the coronial brief.
        She said a “potential police charge of “opening a vehicle door to the danger of another” was not pursued against the car driver, Ellen Richards, 60. Sen-Const Kane said she had spoken to her bosses at her station who had informed her that a charge against Ms Richards would not be authorised.

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