Cyclists in Virginia may have received a much needed prohibition against the “dooring” of said cyclist on Tuesday after the Virginia Senate passed a bill introduced by Sen. Chap Petersen that instructs vehicle drivers and passengers not to open their doors in the paths of oncoming traffic or cyclists. The bill was passed on a 23-17 vote( and I can’t imagine why anyone would have voted “No” unless…).
Virginia isn’t the only state to have such a law. In fact, Virginia would be among the last states in the U.S. to pass such a law that protects cyclists. I know, you’re probably surprised. According to the WashCycle, 45 states have “anti-dooring laws” on the books already.
You should care because you too might ride a bike someday yourself. You should also care because for those cyclists who do slam into car doors, medical coverage is “often” stopped by friendly insurance companies because no fault has been assigned. Sen. Petersen’s bill would change this equation.
Of course, some Virginian’s still like swinging clubs and sleeping in caves. Witness the piece written by Kerry Dougherty slamming the bill as “embarrassing” and an “asinine measure.” Has she “doored” a cyclist before??!! I think it’s embarrassing that we are still discussing whether or not to protect cyclists for the ravages of car parts.
But the bill isn’t all about cyclist love and car hatin’. For instance, the bill “protects moving cars and drivers, who can be forced to swerve around or hit open car doors in traffic, as well as cyclists.”
This, dear reader, is what could be called progress. What better way to cut down our country’s emissions of greenhouse gases and rates of obesity than by making a push for more individuals to cycle. And what better way to encourage folks to start cycling (or cycle more) than by protecting them from the infamous car door!