Sunday, November 6, 2011

Anti-Dooring Decals in Taxi Cab

Watch for Bikes (Decal in Taxi)
I went out with some friends last night and we took a taxi to our destination. Decals like the one shown above were affixed to each passenger window. Have you seen them before? I have not, so this was a pleasant surprise. A taxi cab company (or driver) who wants to make sure their passengers do not accidentally "door" a cyclist! Of course this is as much for their protection as it is for the protection of the bicyclist: I am sure no taxi driver wants to be sued, prosecuted, or even held up waiting for the police to arrive in the event their vehicle is involved in a serious dooring incident. But that does not make it any less good for cyclists. Placed directly in the passenger's field of vision as they reach for the door, it seems to me these are bound to be effective. What if all motor vehicles came with them de facto, like the "objects are closer than they appear" decals on side mirrors?...

30 comments:

  1. That's awesome! And yes,if they came in all vehicles like you said,even MORE awesome! :D

    Steve

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  2. People are in such a hurry these days that I'm sure a segment of passengers probably wouldn't notice the sticker, especially at night. Every day I travel home the same way in my car [too far to commute by bike] and at a red light intersecting a one-way street there is a prominent sign that says "no turn on red". About half the cars at this intersection stop, then continue right on red. They don't read the sign.

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  3. I think I first started seeing them either this year or last year, while I was taking cabs from the airport. I believe that both the cities of Cambridge and Boston hand out such stickers, or you can just write to city hall to receive some. Hooray for that!

    With that said I nearly got doored last week by a fellow in a leprechaun costume. Passed a stopped cab on the left, and the fellow got out on that side and clipped my right hand. At least, I think it was a leprechaun costume .... all I remember is a green top hat and a profound lack of spatial awareness.

    Halloween does seem to make people more careless than usual.

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  4. Even better - "proximity locks" that prevent people from the consequences of their own negligences. Now that we have things to keep sleepy drivers from drifting out of their own lane, we might as well keep doors that should NOT be opened from opening. At least in this case, it could be children that haven't had the chance to learn better, that are being helped.

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  5. Does anyone know where I can get these stickers?

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  6. JohnnyK - if you live in the area, you can write or call the city of Cambridge.

    http://www2.cambridgema.gov/cdd/et/bike/bike_faq.html

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  7. Liz - Oh I think they can read the "no turn on red" sign. just choose to disobey it.

    Steve A - I don't know enough about it to have an opinion whether proximity locks are technologically viable, but it does sound like a good idea.

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  8. An anecdote -- I was hit by a car making an illegal right turn at an intersection with one of those large 'do not turn on red' signs and when I asked the driver what was up she simply said she wasn't paying attention and assumed it was legal at that particular intersection. It happens a lot.

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  9. Ahhhh...such a simple solution to an awful problem! I hope it takes on!

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  10. Anon 9:28 - Sorry to hear that. And on second thought, I guess I should not be surprised: I didn't notice a stop sign once while driving (slowly) at night in a very dark suburban neighbourhood back in 2001. The resulting collision probably made me considerably more vigilant after that.

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  11. Thats great!
    A woman got recently doored in my city, and she got thrown into oncoming traffic and run over. Unfortunately she died; she was a civil servant heading to her government office. The person who opened the door? Got a fine for a traffic violation of 110$.

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  12. These are great! I was thinking about this idea the other day, but I never expected to see it already in use in the US. Even if it gets ignored, it's still an indication that this kind of awareness is becoming more mainstream.

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  13. San Francisco uses a slightly different taxi sticker. See the bottom of this page: http://www.sfbike.org/?drivertraining

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  14. I agree 110% that "anti-dooring" decals should be installed at the factory on every car. These decals should also be retro-fitted to all older vehicles.

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  15. I almost got doored last year. By a cop. In a state that has a law specifically making dooring illegal.

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  16. Andromache - I still don't understand why in cases like this, drivers in N America do not get charged with vehicular manslaughter.

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  17. somervillain--I think there is an exception for police officers engaging in dooring while going about official police business.

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  18. I assume that all doors will open in front of me, and give a wide enough berth that if opened they will not hit me. if there is not enough room to give a wide enough berth i pass dead slow and ring my bell or get the car's ocupants'attention some other way (eye-contact is good). its not always just the door-openers fault.

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  19. Pedaling between moving traffic and parked cars is just plain dangerous. Keeping an eye out for cars making right turns as one pedals in their blind spot, as well as assuming that every parked car has an occupant about ready to swing open the door in front of you, keeps one alert and nervous. Any kind of reminder for those in cars is applauded.

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  20. I've never been doored or even come terribly close to it, but I take many precautions against it happening. I watch cars to see if drivers are in there and may open their door, but the biggest hindrance to this is tinted windows I find.

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  21. I applaud the stickers, but I would not rely on them.

    The best way to avoid getting doored is to stay far enough away from cars. It is not difficult to do that, because doors don't swing out further than about 4 feet.

    Staying that far away from parked cars also makes you more visible for cars coming out of sidestreets, and even for oncoming cars contemplating a left turn.

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  22. Sometime in the sixties, one of my father's roommates at MIT got doored on Vassar Street. He must have been going pretty fast; he broke many bones, and took the door right off the car. Perhaps the cab companies are more concerned about damage to their vehicles than anything else.

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  23. It goes without saying that cyclists should stay out of the door zone if at all possible. However (1) it is not always possible, and (2) drivers are not absolved from the responsiblity to check for cyclists regardless.

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  24. The sticker should read, "Door a cyclist and go to prison". Doesn't matter if it's true or not, gets the message across to the brain dead.

    Speaking of which, I witnessed two incidents of people dooring a bus. Despite their best intentions, they didn't die.

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  25. I wouldn't mind some of these on bus drivers' mirrors, come to think of it.

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  26. I wonder if they would post any of those to Australia?
    Vicki

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  27. defensive cycling alert: I was once doored by a taxi passenger in the left lane full of moving cars. I was in the right lane of moving cars! The passenger tried to exit out of the back door of the left lane car but she saw me in time to spare herself and i only hit the door. It is illegal of course for someone to jump out of a taxi in moving traffic. I was thrown to the right and forward. Luckily for me, that landing place was the sidewalk. Thank god for helmets and backpacks. i slid on my back quite a distance, my pack was torn up and my helmet was banged up.

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  28. Oh yes, I have seen taxi (and other car) passengers fling doors open in the middle lane in stopped traffic here in Boston as well. Sorry to hear about your collision.

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  29. You know - I just don't understand this mentality in general - I mean where are people's sense of self-preservation?? I look carefully before opening a car door on a street because my first thought is I don't want to be hit by an oncoming car as I exit (then I think about peds and bikes etc.) I guess it goes back to "lack of awareness" in general - that covers many many areas of life....

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  30. I can't find anything about these stickers on any bicycle advocacy or municipal websites. I'd like to get more information about these. Do you happen to know if they're in many cab company vehicles, or was this decal perhaps installed by a passenger? Anyone else seen these stickers?

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