Raleigh Report

November 7, 2013

Raleigh’s new requirement: Look before you open car doors

Look before you open your car door on Raleigh streets – it’s a new city law geared toward protecting bicyclists.

Look before you open your car door on Raleigh streets – it’s a new city law geared toward protecting bicyclists.

The rule is part of several bicycle ordinance changes approved by the Raleigh City Council Tuesday night. It’s now illegal to “open the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it is reasonably safe to do so.”

The law is designed to prevent “dooring,” the sort of accident where a car door is opened into the path of a cyclist. It’s not a common problem in Raleigh, but it can result in injuries. A review of 359 bike crashes over the past five years found five accidents that involved dooring. Three occured on downtown streets.

The new rules also ban vehicles from driving or parking in designated bike lanes.

Dozens of bicyclists came to Tuesday’s council meeting to voice their support for the new rules.

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