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‘Dooring’ of cyclists to be discussed at Halifax committee

Click to play video: '‘Dooring’ of cyclists to be discussed at Halifax committee' ‘Dooring’ of cyclists to be discussed at Halifax committee
WATCH ABOVE: Only a week and a half after a cyclist was injured in a collision with a car in Halifax, councillors will be discussing the matter during a committee meeting. As Steve Silva reports, “dooring” is a major issue and the provincial government is already examining possible solutions – Jul 26, 2017

Moving cars are not the only things on the road cyclists across Canada have to watch out for when they head out for a ride, stationary ones are too as incidents of ‘dooring’ continue to occur.

‘Dooring’, as it’s best known, occurs when someone opens a car door in the path of a cyclist.

For cyclists like Matthew Apostolides, it’s become part of their cycling to learn how to avoid incidents.

“I have spun around and hit into the parked car in front of the car that opened the door,” he said, adding that he was not injured in the incident.

READ MORE: Drivers asked to stop ‘dooring’ to help cyclists

Dooring has been made illegal in some provinces and drivers face steep fines if they door someone, and after an incident last week where a cyclist suffered broken bones from being doored on Vernon Street, a Halifax councillor plans to propose a motion to a Halifax committee on the issue.

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District 9 Coun. Shawn Cleary says he wants the mayor to write to the province supporting dooring to become an offence under the Motor Vehicle Act.

“If we’re really going to be working towards making our streets safer for all users, then we need to address every situation that makes one of those users unsafe,” Cleary said, adding he looks at it from both the viewpoints of the driver and cyclist.

Cleary wants the offence to include a fine for the driver, but he says more education is also needed on the issue.

Kelsey Lane with the Halifax Cycling Coalition says dooring has been a top issue for cyclists and identified as such in a public session in 2016.

She said one step that should be taken is to provide more adequate bike lanes.

WATCH: A video posted on social media shows a cyclist being doored by a parked truck on a bike lane on Adelaide Street in downtown Toronto.

Click to play video: 'Video captures dooring of cyclist by parked truck in Toronto bike lane' Video captures dooring of cyclist by parked truck in Toronto bike lane
Video captures dooring of cyclist by parked truck in Toronto bike lane – Sep 2, 2016

“If you’re riding down this street, because we don’t have very good protected bike lanes you’re automatically placed into the ‘dooring zone’ and that’s very dangerous especially when you have young cyclists or new cyclists in the area,” Lane told Global News.

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Lane added another issue with dooring is when the cyclist attempts to avoid the door, it puts them into the line of traffic, creating additional danger.

Cleary’s call, she says, supports the work already being done to reform the MVA and would like to see the penalty be put on the person opening the door.

Apostolides added he would like to see demerit points included in the potential penalties because a fine isn’t enough.

READ MORE: ‘I flew over his door and hit my head’: Your dooring horror stories

“People don’t really care about parking tickets because it’s a monetary thing,” he said. “But if it’s something that’s going to impact your insurance and impact your credibility down the road, people are going to consider it more.”

In an e-mail statement from the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, spokesperson Brian Taylor says the province is looking a the feasibility of introducing amendments to address the issue.

Councillors will look at the motion on Thursday.

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