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Home » Australian Politics » Repeal all laws that make “dooring” an offence and charge cyclists who crash into stationery cars instead!

Repeal all laws that make “dooring” an offence and charge cyclists who crash into stationery cars instead!

I have previously made no secret for my general dislike of cyclists. A dislike that has its genesis in many aspects of their holier than thou subculture and their mistaken belief that everyone else on the road should bend over backwards to protect them on the roads even when their own behaviour is a major contributor to their road using misfortunes. You see the way that they use our streets is inherently dangerous to their own  safety, things like filtering between lanes of traffic passing cars on the left  and exceeding the urban  speed limits are common occurrences as are ignoring stop signs and red lights. Frankly there are some very good arguments for banning bicycles altogether from public roads for their own safety. Perhaps cyclists  all need to have heath warnings tattooed on the inside of their eyelids to remind them that they are responsible for their own fate when they take to the roads.

Nothing annoys me more then the bullshit “offence” of “dooring” where unsuspecting motorists are fined for opening their car door into the path of cyclist.

click for source

I say that its a bullshit offence because in every other incident where a moving vehicle (which is precisely what a bicycle is) hits a stationary one the moving vehicle is deemed to be at fault. This is an entirely  sensible principle in law that  has been abandoned in an attempt to pander to the loonies in Lycra. It should be repealed and instead cyclists who crash into parked cars should be charged with driving without due care and attention.

Cheers Comrades

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33 Comments

  1. deknarf says:

    ‘Dooring’ is a bit extreme Ian, but I must admit that I’m with you with regard to cyclists’ attitudes. While a great majority are pretty reasonable road users, there’s a sub-culture of arrogant, self-obsessed, self-indulgent w**nkers who believe that the road is entirely theirs, and that they can behave ‘any old how’.
    If you have a vehicle (that includes a bike) and use it on a public road/walkway/cycleway/anywhere it should be: a) licenced; b) carry insurance and; c) be subject to the same road rules as any other vehicle.
    ‘A pox on all their spokes’!!

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    A bit harsh, Iain, but I agree that cyclists have to use some common sense when riding next to parked vehicles. Like being far enough out to ensure they don’t get hit by an opening door. As far as I know, motorists are required to stay one metre away from cyclists so if the reverse applied (ie if cyclists had to stay one metre clear of vehicles, moving or stationary) then ‘dooring’ simply would never happen. Of course on busy roads that might put them in the path of traffic. So maybe they should be banned from busy roads, as you suggest.

  3. Iain Hall says:

    Another factor in play here is how hard they are to see in their multicoloured Lycra

  4. Ray Dixon says:

    If we could make the wearing of lycra outdoors illegal that’d solve a lot of problems.

  5. Iain Hall says:

    How about we make it a capital crime Ray ?

  6. Ray Dixon says:

    At the very least it’s ‘indecent exposure’ and ‘causing public offence’. You can get jail time for those offences. Just ask that fat bloke in Bendigo with the facebook page.

  7. jaycee says:

    lian, Is your logo; “Bringing light into the darkness…” inspired by your posession of the only anal speculum in the country?

  8. jaycee says:

    lian..One can but admire your attempt to grow that hair longer, but..I doubt those pubes will grow long enough to do a comb-over!

  9. jaycee says:

    Say!..That’s a clever idea for a personal gravatar..; I like how you put a paper bag over your head and painted a stupid face on it!

  10. Iain Hall says:

    Irene Bugeja

    you are clearly not that smart and not that much to look at either.
    Photobucket
    which given your comments that needlessly attack me personally has a certain irony. Now it took me Just two minutes to work out who you are. I hope that you learn a lesson from this experience, namely don’t abuse people that you come across on the internet because you are not as anonymous as you think that you are.
    Cheers

    Oh and a have you thought of trying Jenny Craig?

  11. Richard Ryan says:

    She still looks tons better that your idol Sophie—Iain. snigger-snigger.

  12. Richard Ryan says:

    Please Iain! Can you take her picture down—-I can’t stop leering at her with imodest thoughts.

  13. Iain Hall says:

    Richard what would your good lady think about that?

  14. jaycee says:

    Oh, lian….you silly boy!

  15. Iain Hall says:

    Can’t you spell either Irene?

  16. jaycee says:

    You know, lian…back in “the old days’..one only had to look in the phone book to find an identity….But hey!…you’re too clever by half!..(that’s 50%!…..same number as your IQ.)

  17. Iain Hall says:

    Yep, I know how to use a search engine Irene

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    Iain, those 2 photos of ‘Irene’ don’t seem to be the same person.

  19. Iain Hall says:

    Its the same person Ray but the first picture is a couple of years older and before a few too many burgers.

  20. Ray Dixon says:

    Oh. Glass houses ……..

  21. Dazz says:

    What do we have here? another bigoted essay about those enemies of the human race – cyclists. Yes they really are all terrible people, who – given half a chance – would eat your children without blinking. Please Iain, just because some cyclist happened to have quicker reflexes than you, don’t tar all people who have two wheels and some pedals with the same brush. If you don’t have the situational awareness – or the empathy – to know that it it is wrong to injure another member of the public, then please head down to the nearest licensing authority in your state, and turn in your licence. You are – by definition – a psychopath.

  22. Iain Hall says:

    Firstly welcome to my Blog Dazz 😉

    What do we have here? another bigoted essay about those enemies of the human race – cyclists.

    certainly not

    Yes they really are all terrible people, who – given half a chance – would eat your children without blinking.

    well many of them are arrogant enough to make this possible 😉

    Please Iain, just because some cyclist happened to have quicker reflexes than you, don’t tar all people who have two wheels and some pedals with the same brush.

    What has reflex speed got to do with the issue? My point here is that its wrong to reverse the onus of responsibility in the event of a collision from the operator of the moving vehicle to the one that is stationary

    If you don’t have the situational awareness – or the empathy – to know that it it is wrong to injure another member of the public, then please head down to the nearest licensing authority in your state, and turn in your licence. You are – by definition – a psychopath.

    I have probably been driving on two and four wheels longer than you have been drawing breath and the one thing that riding motorcycles taught me is that we all have to accept responsibility for our own safety in the way that we use the roads. Thus when filtering through traffic you have to accept the possibility that someone won’t see you coming and they may open a door in front of you. The stupid law that inspired this post is not going to change the necessity for the same sort of caution that you need to survive all that it is going to do create a false sense of security for cyclists who are foolish enough to think that a fine for motorists is going to make them safer on the road.

  23. Dazz says:

    OK. Firstly, I apologise for the psychopath bit. I’ll downgrade that to ignorant.

    Again I say though – don’t tar everybody in a group (any group) for the actions of a few. I am also a motorcyclist (and I’ve been licensed for about 23 years now, for the record). Car drivers love to hate motorcyclists too. Over here in Perth, motorcyclists are particularly bold. Lane-splitting (at any speed) seems to be the norm. So I’d class them as arrogant, more so than cyclists (of which I am also one) I’ve also been in other minority groups too. I like to kite-surf and I have used a jetski before. Those are two more groups who majority users of waterways LOVE to hate. As a responsible member of all of these groups I am aware of the problem of perception by mainstream users, (car drivers, boaties and fishermen respectively). Perception’s also got to do with the ratios involved. If more people rode bikes than drove cars, then it would be the cyclists who would be writing bigoted comments about car drivers. This is human nature. It’s also because there are mathematically more people to agree with them.

    That’s also the way democracy works you see.

    So the problem is not with the law being ‘wrong’ because it penalises the person in the vehicle that isn’t moving. That’s just a convenient excuse for one group to absolve themselves of responsibility to the more vulnerable group.

    Now let me give you a different scenario. Say you you were parked on a narrow lane somewhere and there was the possibility that a passing car or truck would rip your door off. I’d bet you would check thoroughly now, before flinging open your door. The difference here is consequences. The passing vehicle has nowhere to go. If you open the door, it’s still your fault. But now YOU get hurt. Like the cyclist, the passing car or truck still has nowhere to go. Should the law still be changed for that?

    Another example of perception is the gay and lesbian community. It used to be common place for the mainstream (heterosexuals) to indulge in bashing (figuratively and physically) of gays and lesbians. There were even laws against homosexuality, as these people were the minority. But in some places these days, the ratio of homosexual to heterosexuals is quite high. So now you even hear derogatory terms *against* heterosexuals (e.g ‘breeders’). Perceptions have changed. Attitudes have changed. As the ratio of sexuality in the community has changed, the old minority now has more of a voice.

    So it is happening with cycling. More people are embracing cycling for many reasons. Some to prevent burning dinosaurs, some to try and burn calories. So I can’t see your ‘dooring’ law being repealed anytime soon. On the contrary, I can see more laws that support cyclists. Sorry.

    Vive la revolution!

  24. Iain Hall says:

    Thanks for the extensive comment Dazz you have certainly given me a meaty start to the day! I will respond to each of your points in turn:

    OK. Firstly, I apologise for the psychopath bit. I’ll downgrade that to ignorant.

    probably not as ignorant as you think but thanks for the downgrade 😉

    Again I say though – don’t tar everybody in a group (any group) for the actions of a few. I am also a motorcyclist (and I’ve been licensed for about 23 years now, for the record). Car drivers love to hate motorcyclists too. Over here in Perth, motorcyclists are particularly bold. Lane-splitting (at any speed) seems to be the norm. So I’d class them as arrogant, more so than cyclists (of which I am also one) I’ve also been in other minority groups too. I like to kite-surf and I have used a jetski before. Those are two more groups who majority users of waterways LOVE to hate. As a responsible member of all of these groups I am aware of the problem of perception by mainstream users, (car drivers, boaties and fishermen respectively). Perception’s also got to do with the ratios involved. If more people rode bikes than drove cars, then it would be the cyclists who would be writing bigoted comments about car drivers. This is human nature. It’s also because there are mathematically more people to agree with them.

    That’s also the way democracy works you see.

    Gee you must be a real action/adventure sorta guy! Respect for that OK? However I learnt from riding motorcycles for more than thirty years that much of the dislike of people of traffic using minorities has some basis in truth. and when it comes to cyclists they are their own worst enemy especially in the way that they ignore just about every rule of the road at one time or another, all predicated upon the simple fact that they are very unlikely to be caught or sanctioned.

    So the problem is not with the law being ‘wrong’ because it penalises the person in the vehicle that isn’t moving. That’s just a convenient excuse for one group to absolve themselves of responsibility to the more vulnerable group.

    One of the problems with this sort of statute is that it ignores several factors that mitigate against a motorist even seeing a lane splitting cyclist. Firstly there is the speed at which many ride its often far to high for them to stop in a reasonable distance, secondly the brakes and ability to stop at all on even “high end ” machines is very marginal compared to modern cars or motorcycles, and thirdly the way that cyclists dress breaks up their bodily profile so they are actuality harder to see even when they are wearing bright colours. maybe motorists would be less annoyed if bicyclists were required to wear hi visibility gear and to have some thing akin to registration and numbers on their machines

    Now let me give you a different scenario. Say you you were parked on a narrow lane somewhere and there was the possibility that a passing car or truck would rip your door off. I’d bet you would check thoroughly now, before flinging open your door. The difference here is consequences. The passing vehicle has nowhere to go. If you open the door, it’s still your fault. But now YOU get hurt. Like the cyclist, the passing car or truck still has nowhere to go. Should the law still be changed for that?

    Hmm I don’t think that your analogy quite works Dazz. Taht said I do get your concept that the more vulnerable party should be protected in law. However I think that your belief that this law will “save ” any cyclists is rather silly, silly in the same way that those who advocate for a male contraceptive pill are silly. To put it bluntly as the ones who are likely to be hurt its cyclists who have to take responsibility for their own safety by driving defensively, by being as visible as possible by riding with courtesy to other road users and dare I say it by finding a little humility as well.

    Another example of perception is the gay and lesbian community. It used to be common place for the mainstream (heterosexuals) to indulge in bashing (figuratively and physically) of gays and lesbians. There were even laws against homosexuality, as these people were the minority. But in some places these days, the ratio of homosexual to heterosexuals is quite high. So now you even hear derogatory terms *against* heterosexuals (e.g ‘breeders’). Perceptions have changed. Attitudes have changed. As the ratio of sexuality in the community has changed, the old minority now has more of a voice.

    Well I’m thankful that I live in the country!

    So it is happening with cycling. More people are embracing cycling for many reasons. Some to prevent burning dinosaurs, some to try and burn calories. So I can’t see your ‘dooring’ law being repealed any-time soon. On the contrary, I can see more laws that support cyclists. Sorry.

    Vive la revolution!

    And you can also expect to see more rigorous enforcement of the traffic code as well

  25. Dazz says:

    Wow. You know, I’m not a superstitious person. Nor do I believe in fate or even religion. Over the last couple of days, I’ve been commenting on your blog and some other places on the interwebs about driver bigotry and rights of cyclists.

    Lo and behold, today I drove home a different route, to (ironically) survey safer routes to ride my trusty treadly home. I was stopped at the lights. Opposite me were 3 lanes of traffic also stopped at the red. Two would go straight and one would turn right. From my right (the traffic’s left) came a speeding cyclist, as he got onto the road, in front of the stopped traffic, he stood up and started pedalling hard. He passed the two lanes that were to go straight ahead. But as he approached the third lane, the arrow must have changed green. The car in the third lane started forward and he crashed – full speed – into its left front wheel and went over its bonnet. His front wheel detached from his bike and catapulted across the intersection. He instantly got up, grabbed the bits of his bike and retreated back to the footpath. The driver – obviously shaken – did a U turn and stopped, with the rider’s headwear still on here bonnet. She’ll need a stiff drink tonight. I know I do.

    The rider seemed ok, although he may have lost a few teeth. I didn’t need to stop, as there were many people closer than me. What got my attention about him was his lack of situational awareness (SA). His bike was the fixed gear, or ‘fixie’ type and the head-dress previously mentioned was an Australian standards approved……beanie.

    I submit this rider as exhibit ‘A’ in exactly what you have been talking about as the arrogant variety. Although I don’t think he was arrogant. Just dumb. In fact, he seemed to be part of the advance element of the hipster apocalypse and I probably wouldn’t piss on him if he caught alight. But he was riding a bicycle.

    That makes him a ‘cyclist’. I am also a ‘cyclist’, but the similarity ends there. So, as I mentioned before, I don’t think you can tar any minority group with the same brush.

  26. GD says:

    What a great story! And well told too, Dazz. I could picture it clearly. Now I’m not superstitious either, but fate would have it that earlier today I bought a bike. I haven’t owned a bike in forty or so years. Yes, Iain, I’ve joined the Dark Side or should that be the Green Side?

    As a driver I’m nervous around cyclists on the road. Perhaps I’ll stay off-road for some time when I first ‘get on my bike’.

  27. Ray Dixon says:

    So …. you lost your drivers license, GD?

  28. GD says:

    heh, heh, no Ray, I haven’t lost my driver’s licence. Good call though. However, there are only two ways I can prove it to you.

    One, I could post a pic of my license on the Sandpit. Highly unlikely, or two,

    I could book into your salubrious establishment and receive a weekend for two gratis on production of said license.

    Obviously the second option would be preferable. I await your reply.

  29. GD says:

    This bike riding caper isn’t looking so good. On my first day out I was ‘swooped’ by a magpie. Apparently it’s breeding season. He followed me round the corner and to the end of the block. Finally I succumbed to bird panic and pulled the bike to a stop, forgetting that I’m no longer 14 years old. I collapsed in a heap beneath my newly purchased contraption. Let me tell you, if a bird can do this to me I now have empathy with the experienced riders who ride with cars on busy streets.

    It’s bloody frightening out there. I will now be more considerate of cyclists, although I’m having murderous thoughts about magpies.

    Rather than a ‘murder of crows’ as the saying goes, we should say ‘a murder of magpies’. The rashes on my knees bear testament.

  30. Iain Hall says:

    Ah magpies!

    Your tale of woe is rather amusing GD because it reminds me of a time in my youth when something similar happened to me and I discovered that being caught by one of these creatures while trying to peddle up hill on an old and heavy bike is no fun!

  31. Ray Dixon says:

    This is what you need to keep the magpies away, GD – the nuff-nuff helmet:

    .

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