When I was in Melbourne recently, my children excitedly told me that there was a news article on some time about cyclists and car doors. I found out afterwards that it was on the tv show called The Project. My son could not remember much about the preview other than that "both sides were blaming each other".
How can a cyclist be to blame for someone opening a car door in their path? On The Project's website we are told that "dooring" is the most common cause of injury. Recently, in 2010, was the first recorded death by dooring. A student, James Cross, was on his way to University when a driver opened her car's door 12 centimetres. James crashed into it, was propelled under the wheels of a passing truck and killed.
The fact that this is the biggest cause of injury would suggest that perhaps something should be done. When we were near the Art Gallery of Victoria, one of my children asked me what should be done about it. I am so glad you asked, I said. We were standing on a pavement that looked like this:
I pointed out the width and the fact that it has a kerb on each side so that cyclists were kept safe from cars and pedestrians were kept safe from bikes.
Alas it is just a pavement and the raised part on the left is just dirt. It is however a great illustration of how our roads could so easily be made safer. There is a lot of talk about raising awareness but people are human and will always make mistakes. A car driver could take care with their car door every time without fail but the one time they are distracted could be the one time they clean up someone on their bike. I would have thought the smarter thing to do would be to avoid the risk in the first place. Don't put cyclists there in the first place.