Raleigh moves to require drivers to look before opening doors

Posted November 4, 2013
Updated November 6, 2013

— The rules of the road could be changing for Raleigh drivers to make streets safer for bicyclists.

A public hearing is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall to discuss changes to Raleigh's bicycle ordinance, including requiring drivers to check their rear-view mirrors after they park on a street to make sure the coast is clear before opening their doors.

The change, which has the backing of the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission, would prevent "dooring," which happens when a cyclist crashes into an open car door.

"These are all things we ask you to do when you're parking or pulling out of a parking spot. It's not going above and beyond to ask you to do it when you are getting out of your vehicle as well," cyclist Matt Arcand said Monday.

Arcand said he was hospitalized and missed a week of work recently after he was involved in a collision with a vehicle.

Raleigh officials say there have been more than 300 collisions between bicyclists and vehicles in the last five years, but only three involved dooring.

Councilman John Odom said the infrequency of dooring makes regulating it unnecessary.

"We're absolutely passing an ordinance where common sense should rule. That's a big problem with me," Odom said.

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Violating the dooring regulation would result in a $40 civil penalty, said Eric Lamb, the city's transportation planning manager.

The proposed ordinance also would clear the way for new bike lanes to replace on-street parking in some areas.

"If this is an issue to remove on-street parking, I think more people will come out and talk against it," Odom said.

On-street parking and bike lanes would be a difficult combination in some neighborhoods, Lamb said.

"We would have to widen the streets, and that is not always an acceptable cost measure for a lot of folks, especially in residential areas," he said.


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  • PDMARTIN Nov 13, 2013

    Good luck inforcing that one.

  • Geez Louise Nov 6, 2013

    Cyclist can drive on the road all they want as far as I'm concerned. Just stay off the sidewalks!!

  • Trekker Nov 5, 2013

    "you are REQUIRED BY LAW to share the road with them, no matter how important you seem to think you are." think01


  • think01 Nov 5, 2013

    "At least 90% completely ignore traffic laws"

    Did you realize that 72% of statistics are made up on the spot?

  • sandim50 Nov 5, 2013

    DUH!!! You need a law to look before you open your car doors?
    George Orwell, Big brother must be turning in his grave suggesting that drivers need a law to open their doors. Probably add to the law that the car should be at a full stop before getting out

  • think01 Nov 5, 2013

    "Streets, roads and highways are for the movement of cars, not bicycles."

    I would agree with you if you weren't completely wrong. Bicycles have every bit as much right to the road as cars do. You may disagree, but it's the law. I'll quote you the applicable statutes if you can't find them yourself.

    "If and when the bicyclists obey the traffic laws then maybe we can offer to share the road."

    Right, because drivers NEVER break the law, it's just those darned bicyclists. It's not up to you to decide whether bicycles can use the road, you are REQUIRED BY LAW to share the road with them, no matter how important you seem to think you are.

  • Trekker Nov 5, 2013

    “If and when the bicyclists obey the traffic laws then maybe we can offer to share the road. You must earn the right to share the road!” GK N.Ral

    Better check the law books. We don’t need to “earn the right to share the road” as you say, it is our road to use as much as yours.

  • Poupmouse Nov 5, 2013

    At least 90% completely ignore traffic laws leading to dangerous driving conditions and now they want us to follow even more laws- for their benefit? I think before that is even discussed they are to be held to every single traffic law motorists are AND have the laws enforced.

    This is completely ridiculous. The only plausible explanation for our legislative clowns to consider this is to raise more revenue though fine and tickets.

    Our city really sucks sometimes.

  • kdnole Nov 5, 2013

    Hahahahaha - That video and passing on the right was typical of most bicyclists.

  • kdnole Nov 5, 2013

    What a waste of time and money. Hey, while they are looking at that why not make bicyclist stop at all stop signs, lights and ride single file. Sounds like common sense, right!