Illinois to start tracking bicycle ‘dooring’ collisions

From the Chicago Trib:

Quinn sought the change after reading a March 21 Chicago Tribune story. The article reported on a long-standing IDOT policy to exclude dooring crashes from annual state traffic accident statistics because the motor vehicles involved in such collisions are not moving.

I don’t know if Florida even has a policy one way or the other.

IDOT officials expressed concerns that such a requirement would burden police with additional paperwork and that there were few complaints from the public about doorings.

Uhhhmm. So which is it?

“We hope to use the data to obtain funding for education safety so drivers as well as bicyclists know what the risks are and what the factors are to create safer roadways,” said Dan Persky, director of education at the alliance.

Talk to me! I know how to avoid getting doored.


11 replies
  1. Mighk Wilson
    Mighk Wilson says:

    I have not seen any dooring crash reports locally, but I believe they would be required under Florida statute. Since a bicycle is a vehicle in Florida (it’s not in Illinois), any injury crash involving a bicyclist and another person or vehicle can be reported (if the cyclist or other party actually calls it in).

  2. Mark Wheeler
    Mark Wheeler says:

    NO FUN.

  3. Gary
    Gary says:

    Mighk, why do you believe that bicycles are not vehicles in Illinois?


    “Every person riding a bicycle upon a highway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all of the duties applicable to the driver of a vehicle . . .” Section 11-1502

    — Gary

    • Keri
      Keri says:

      That language refers to the driver and is consistent in all states whether the bicycle itself is defined as a vehicle or a device.

      • Gary
        Gary says:

        So one consequence of having bicycles considered devices and not vehicles in Illinois was not having dooring crashes recorded. Now that we are recording these crashes, are there any other consequences (good or bad) to my riding a two-wheeled device and not a vehicle here in Illinois?

        • Keith
          Keith says:

          You are exempt from laws prohibiting street racing. Otherwise a group ride or a brevet could fall under the activities considered street racing.

  4. NE2
    NE2 says:

    Something I’m curious about: if someone in the back seat doors a cyclist, who’s legally at fault?

    • Gary
      Gary says:

      The law in Illinois makes it pretty clear that whoever opens the door into traffic is at fault:

      (625 ILCS 5/11‑1407) (from Ch. 95 1/2, par. 11‑1407)
      Sec. 11‑1407. Opening and closing vehicle doors. No person shall open the door of a vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so, and can be done without interfering with the movement of other traffic, nor shall any person leave a door open on the side of a vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload passengers.

      • NE2
        NE2 says:

        Hmmm. And since there’s no way to prove who opened the door, I doubt anyone’s been successfully charged with dooring with a rear door unless they admitted to opening it.

        • Keith
          Keith says:

          I would hazzard to guess that it would be fairly obvious to determine that a car door on a particular vehicle was opened and caused injury to the cyclist(regardless of driver or rear passenger). If there was impact with the door it would be easy to determine which door was involved. Absent the rear passsenger coming forward and assuming the blame, the driver would be held accountable, and it would then be up to the driver (or his insurance company) to prove that it was a particular passenger at fault (at least from a monetary standpoint in a civil case.) It would be the prosecutor’s responsibility to prove who was at fault criminally, simple forensics would implicate the driver or rear passenger. I also assume the driver would be held accountable if he failed to provide the true identity of the passenger.

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