While the war of the Toronto road continues between motorists and cyclists, the problem of small traffic crimes such as “dooring” – when a stopped car opens its door right in the way of a cyclist, making them essentially hit a wall – continues to be a serious yet avoidable problem in the city.
Too often people are annoyed and embarrassed and just want to quickly get up and get back on their way.
This reaction is understandable, but for the future safety of yourself and your fellow bikers, the better thing to do is to write down the license plate number and make of the car and report the crime.
If you’re not sure how to report it, or you think it will be too complicated, fret not – Toronto Police have a simple form you can fill out from the comfort of your computer.
That’s right, you can indulge your hatred of using your phone for an actual person to person conversation and report it online. You really have no excuse not to.
The traffic complaint report form is NOT meant for serious collisions where paramedics or police were on the scene. This form is only to be used if you walked (or cycled) away relatively unharmed but still want to help protect future cyclists and make the police aware of a careless car owner.
After Toronto Police stopped tracking incidents of dooring in the city during 2012 and most of 2013, a website popped up so cyclists could still report and track these crimes.
Between 2007 and 2011, when police were tracking the numbers, the average number of cyclists doored per year was at 177.
After the media shined a light on their lack of concern in this area in recent years, they started tracking the incidents again.
Opening a door improperly is considered a violation of Ontario’s Highway Safety Act, and the only way careless drivers will start paying more attention is if they suffer a consequence for it.
Ignoring your Canadian tendency to quickly get over it and move on with your day is the appropriate action here if you want safer streets for cyclists across the city.
And if your quick report submission prevents that driver from dooring another cyclist, it’s already worth the minimal effort.
Cover photo from: istock.com/Bigandt_Photography