Opening of Doors of Motor Vehicles

Update: see previous posts – September 5, 2011 Bike Trails Through Two Hydro Corridors and Leaside Rail Corridor, August 11, 2011 Bicycle Safety Called for by Ontario Medical Association, August 9, 2011 Police/T.T.C Target Drivers/Pedestrians/Cyclists at T.T.C Stops from Aug.8 – 14, 2011, August 5, 2011 Results of Bicycle/Pedestrian Blitz on August 3 & 4, 2011, August 2, 2011 – Bicycle/Driver/Pedestrian Blitz on Danforth Ave from Victoria Park to Broadview Ave on August 3 & 4/11, July 30, 2011 Pedestrian Injured by Cyclist Calls for Regulated Cycling in Toronto, July 28, 2011 Bicycle Helmets Lead to Fewer Head Injuries for Cyclist’s Who Wear Them, July 17, 2011 Cyclists Ignore the Signs at Kew Gardens, July 13, 2011 Toronto Bicycle Lanes Eliminated, July 9, 2011 Cyclists Continue Riding the Wrong Way on a One-Way Street (Huron Street), July 8, 2011 Toronto Police to Ticket Cyclists and Motor Vehicles Ignoring Cyclist’s Space, July 7, 2011 Careless Driving Causing Death?, May 4, 2011 Police Charge Parent of Young Cyclist Not Wearing His Bicycle Helmet, May 2, 2011 Cyclist on Powered-Assisted Bicycle Charged with Not Wearing a Helmet and Impaired Driving, March 9, 2011 Cyclist Launches 20 Million Lawsuit against Cycling Club & Association, January 27, 2011 Time to Update the Cycling Laws in Toronto & Ontario?, January 8, 2011 Toronto is Ready to Invest in the Safety of Cyclists,December 22, 2010   Toronto’s First Count of Downtown Cyclists (Sept. 2010) , November 8, 2010 Week Long Pedestrian Safety Campaign/Blitz, October 10, 2010 Bike Boxes , September 16, 2010 Private Member’s Bill requires a minimum of one metre paved shoulder be added whenever designated provincial highways are repaved to reduce accidents/fatalities , August 26, 2010 Police Lay 400 Charges Against Cyclists/Pedestrians , May 19, 2010 Motorists Must Stay 3,4 or 5 Feet Away from Bicyclists , March 29, 2010 Toronto’s Zero-Tolerance Bicycle Blitz , November 16, 2009 Most Dangerous Intersections for Pedestrians – Toronto (2008) , October 12, 2009 Idaho Stop Law , September 7, 2009 Toronto Police Bicycle Safety Blitz , March 21, 2009,  Bicycle Accidents Toronto, Reported in 2008 , December 20, 2008 City of Toronto Considering Installing “Rumble Strips”

Watch for Cyclists, before you open up the vehicle door

The summer holiday season is at an end and many people are returning to work, school, college or university and as a result, many more cyclists will be riding on the streets, hoping to cash in on the nice weather before winter sets in.  It will become darker and wetter and motorists have to become even more aware of their surroundings and of others, who share the same space on the streets that they drive and park on.

Motorists have busy lives and as a result, motor vehicle traffic in most major Canadian cities, such as Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and others, force motorists to quickly park and exit their vehicles.

Operators of motor vehicles and the occupants in their vehicle often open up the doors to their vehicles to exit and bicyclists crash into those doors.  Often the cyclist is injured and their bicycles are damaged.

If a motorist is parking their vehicle, it is a good idea to pull up and park right beside the curb, this will ensure that a cyclist will not crash into a passenger door of that vehicle.  What it will mean however, is that anyone exiting the driver’s side of the vehicle, must open up their doors with extreme caution (look into the mirrors to see if any cyclist is approaching), before exiting their vehicle.       

Too many cyclists are injured when passengers in a vehicle or the driver of the vehicle don’t exit the vehicle in a safe manner.

The Ontario Highway Traffic Act is very clear on whose responsibility it is, to exit their vehicles safely:

Opening of doors of motor vehicles

165.  No person shall,

(a) open the door of a motor vehicle on a highway without first taking due precautions to ensure that his or her act will not interfere with the movement of or endanger any other person or vehicle; or

(b) leave a door of a motor vehicle on a highway open on the side of the vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than is necessary to load or unload passengers.  R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 165.


Offence and FinesOpen vehicle door improperly – two (2) demerit points165(a)

Set Fine = $85.00 + Set Fine of $20 + Court Costs $5 = Total Payable = $110

Offence and FinesLeave vehicle door open – two (2) demerit points165(b)

Set Fine = $85.00 + Set Fine of $20 + Court Costs $5 = Total Payable = $110

Section 6

6. Special Vehicles


Table 6.18: Bicyclists* Killed and Injured, 2002–2006

* Includes hangers on.

Table 6.19: Age of Bicyclists Involved in Collisions by Light Condition, 2006
Age Groups
Light Condition0-56-1516-3031-6061+UKTotal


Table 6.20: Selected Factors Relevant to All Bicycle Collisions, 2006
Driving Properly (Bicyclist)42
Driving Properly (Motor Vehicle Driver)51
Intersection Related68
Going Ahead (Bicyclist)87
Alcohol Related (Bicyclist)4
No Apparent Vehicle Defect (Bicycle)97
Clear Visibility91
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