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Illinois Law To Prevent Bicycle Injuries Rarely Enforced

The worst nightmare of every urban cyclist is being “doored.” “Dooring” refers to a door opening into the path of a bicycle that is riding near a line of parked cars. The cyclist can do nothing to avoid the collision and often the results are catastrophic.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported on the tragic case Clinton Miceli.Clinton, age 22, was riding his bicycle on North LaSalle Street in Chicagowhen an SUV driver opened his door into the path of Clinton. Clinton was knocked from his bike into oncoming traffic where he was struck andkilled by another car.

“Every cyclist is scared to death of being doored,” said Dixon Law Office founder, Grant Dixon. As an avid cyclist, Dixon has plenty of near misses. “Several times I have had a door opened right in front of me. It is terrifying.” Grant’s experience is not unique. A conversation with anyone who regularly rides on city streets will reveal they have been doored.

Illinois law makes dooring illegal. Section 11-1407 of the Motor Vehicle Code says:

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.

Grant continued, “even though the statute makes dooring illegal, in my experience, few police officers are willing to enforce dooring violations.”

Statistics on doorings are also very hard to find. The Chicago Tribune article highlighted the fact that neither State nor Federal Departments of Transportation track injuries or deaths from dooring. “It is so difficult to know the magnitude of the problem unless the statistics are kept,” Grant said.

According to Grant, “even though tickets are rarely given and statistics are hard to find, dooring is still illegal.” Motorists have the responsibility to look and see bicyclists before they open their doors. If they don’t they are responsible for the injuries they cause, regardless of whether a ticket is issued.

If you or a loved one have been the victim of a dooring, call the Dixon Law Office. We have the experience on the bicycle and in the court room to get you the compensation you deserve. We are here to help you and your loved ones.

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