Saturday, September 1, 2012

Look before Opening

There is much to be said about a strong cycling culture here in Australia. While its nothing near Taiwan, in terms of bicycle road safety, people here take it very seriously. One example is the Look Before Opening Advocacy Group started by a private company called Twenty4, who specialises in website design and whose folks happened to be keen cyclists too.

Essentially, their message is a call for drivers to look before opening their doors. Many a cyclists have been injured when a car door opens unexpectedly in their path. In the state of Victoria, more than 1100 cases of "dooring" has been reported in a 10 year period, and one resulting in a fatality. Although an experienced cyclist will know the importance of keeping a distance when passing parked cars, some situations such as narrow roads make this difficult.

Another way is to make such an incident costly for drivers in terms of steep fines and demerit points penalty. But that could be hard to enforce if it were passengers or children that open the door carelessly.
Hence, a more effective would be through driver education and they do this in a most creative way -window stickers.

I am heartened by this private initiative by a group of keen cyclists to make the cycling world a little more safer and applaud them for their commendable effort. I hope their example serves as an encouragement and inspiration for more people and groups to take the lead in actively promoting safer cycling, especially in countries where the powers that be have "other" priorities.

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