Editorial: Continued 'dooring' of cyclists is an outrage

Don McGlashan. Photo / Supplied
Don McGlashan. Photo / Supplied

Cycling is slowly becoming a significant portion of city traffic, so much so that it is a wonder cyclists can be "doored".

Indeed, it is a wonder anyone ever opens a door on the driver's side without checking whether a vehicle of any sort is about to come past. It is not always possible to give a parked car a wide berth.

The type of accident that has left musician Don McGlashan with three broken ribs, a collarbone fracture and a punctured lung simply should not be happening.

He was biking home with groceries in Valley Rd, Mt Eden, on Monday when the occupant of a car he was passing opened a door. He was in hospital until yesterday.

A collision with a carelessly opened door seems to be a common cycling experience. Auckland cycling campaigners say they hear of many incidents. McGlashan said it was unfortunate so many were doored. That is an understatement. It is an outrage.

In November a woman cyclist was killed on Tamaki Drive when she swerved to avoid an opening door and was struck by a passing vehicle.

Cycling appears to have outgrown the righteous, sometime road-hogging, attitude of new converts to fitness and environmental virtue. The deaths of five cyclists in four days of November underlined the need for care, courtesy and common sense by all road users.

Cycling in city traffic is scary enough without parked cars adding to the hazards. If people alighting from the driver's side cannot learn the simple practice of looking first, heavy penalties may be needed to teach them.

- NZ Herald

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