Home
Fortunately the motorist driving behind cyclist managed to avoid hitting him

A dashcam company has released video taken on one of its cameras that shows the moment a cyclist was doored in north London by a van driver.

The incident happened in March on De Beauvoir Road in Islington, reports the London Evening Standard.

The dashcam was in a Volkswagen Jetta car behind the cyclist, with the driver able to stop in time to avoid striking the cyclist.

According to the Standard the cyclist sustained only minor injuries.

Simon March, managing director of VisionTrack, said: “This video captures very clearly the danger faced every day by cyclists from ‘dooring’.

“In this case, the cyclist had an incredibly lucky escape because, as well as being flattened by the door of the van, he could easily have been crushed by the Jetta driver whose dashcam filmed the incident.”

Section 239 of the Highway Code tells motorists, “You must ensure you do not hit anyone when you open your door – check for cyclists or other traffic," with offenders facing a maximum fine of £1,000.

Police were not called to the incident, so the van driver will not face charges.

Cycling campaigners have urged motorists to adopt a technique known as the ‘Dutch Reach’ to prevent cyclists from being doored.

> Video: How the 'Dutch Reach' can prevent cyclists being doored

Taught to learner drivers in the Netherlands, it involves the driver opening the car door with the hand that is further away from it – a movement that caused the body to turn, meaning they naturally look behind.

In February, however, transport minister Andrew Jones said there were no plans to make it part of the driving test in the UK.

> Transport minister: No plans to introduce ‘Dutch Reach’ anti-dooring technique to UK

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

29 comments

Avatar
danthomascyclist [347 posts] 7 months ago
10 likes

Van driver is an idiot and didn't even look. Had the cyclist not been there he still would have opened the door in front of the car

Avatar
Yorkshire wallet [1569 posts] 7 months ago
7 likes

At least the car driver had some reactions. Van driver could have been looking at an £80 fine otherwise.

This sort of thing makes me glad my commute is across country lanes for nearly the entire time.

Avatar
Ramuz [311 posts] 7 months ago
20 likes

"Police were not called to the incident, so the van driver will not face charges."

So provided no-one calls the police when I murder my neighbour then bury him in the back garden, all is fine.

Avatar
KevM [47 posts] 7 months ago
4 likes

Two lessons to learn here. Avoid riding in the door zone, and don't approach a cyclist so bloody fast. At the speed that car was approaching the bike, and based on the fact there was oncoming traffic, the camera car was either going to drive straight into the bike or pass him extremely close.

Avatar
Paul_C [523 posts] 7 months ago
4 likes

yes,

always report a collision with another vehicle... it all goes into the stats... and that driver may also have been prosecuted as well.

Avatar
CXR94Di2 [1858 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

Never ride within 5ft of parked vehicle doors

Avatar
Saratoga [43 posts] 7 months ago
17 likes

The article states that the cyclist was injured, in which case the van driver MUST report the accident to the police within 24 hours (Road Traffic Act 1988). It does not matter that the police were not called at the time.

Avatar
Mungecrundle [866 posts] 7 months ago
17 likes

Nasty incident, I hope the cyclist is OK. Van driver totally at fault of course, but this is exactly why you must stay outside the door zone when passing parked vehicles.

Just look at the 2 cycles coming the other way, skimming the parked cars and allowing vehicles to overtake where it is clearly dangerous to do so. There is a crossing point in the very first few frames of the video.

I hope that this video is resurrected for every single comment posted on this site that claims taking primary position is unsafe or uneccessarily inconveniences other road users.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [1124 posts] 7 months ago
4 likes
Mungecrundle wrote:

Nasty incident, I hope the cyclist is OK. Van driver totally at fault of course, but this is exactly why you must stay outside the door zone when passing parked vehicles. Just look at the 2 cycles coming the other way, skimming the parked cars and allowing vehicles to overtake where it is clearly dangerous to do so. There is a crossing point in the very first few frames of the video. I hope that this video is resurrected for every single comment posted on this site that claims taking primary position is unsafe or uneccessarily inconveniences other road users.

Luckily, it looks like the usual suspects have been banned from this site, so no more Willo/BikeLikeBike etc.

Avatar
The _Kaner [1147 posts] 7 months ago
4 likes

Had that road been damp or greasy...the cyclist was being flattened by the daschcam car...

far too fast and close for that area by the looks of things (the car). Too close to the parked cars for the cyclist and just a twat of a van driver...

 

Avatar
Look555 [18 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes

Having seen the cyclist in his lane, the on coming traffic and the on coming cyclist this Jetta driver didn't seem too bothered about applying the brake. It looks like he was judging the oncoming car allowing him to swiftly overtake his cyclist and leave both of them *just enough* room. Classy.

Avatar
ChairRDRF [366 posts] 7 months ago
4 likes

Yet another reason to have police doing close passing of cyclists policing. One of the reasons people cycle in the "dor zone" is that they are afraid of being clobbered from behind.

On close passing policing see https://rdrf.org.uk/2016/11/22/a-new-dawn-in-policing-to-prevent-danger-...

Avatar
ChrisB200SX [565 posts] 7 months ago
2 likes

"he could easily have been crushed by the Jetta driver whose dashcam filmed the incident"

How exactly could that have "easily" happened, maybe only if the Jetta driver was following too close perhaps?

Avatar
Gourmet Shot [174 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
Ramuz wrote:

"Police were not called to the incident, so the van driver will not face charges."

So provided no-one calls the police when I murder my neighbour then bury him in the back garden, all is fine.

Yep you're all good to go !

Avatar
Leviathan [2867 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Never ride within 5ft of parked vehicle doors

Here's the catch: This is great advise, but on many UK roads, like the one show you would just stay in primary position all the time, and this would be seen as aggressive blocking by many motorists. No one is asking for punishment passes or condoning them, but they are inevitable. Many cyclists would rather be oblivious to the danger of a dooring than risk dangerous driving around themselves. 

Sorry that isn't an answer, it is a psychological Catch 22, keep your wits around you. 

Avatar
brooksby [2701 posts] 7 months ago
3 likes
Saratoga wrote:

The article states that the cyclist was injured, in which case the van driver MUST report the accident to the police within 24 hours (Road Traffic Act 1988). It does not matter that the police were not called at the time.

I thought that, too; went to a station the next day to report a taxi driver whose passenger had doored me, one time: "Did you have to go to hospital, sir?" "Er, no, but I've got a nasty gash and my bike was damaged " "But you didn't go to hospital?" "No, but I'd like to report it anyway, because otherwise how will you compile road safety statistics?" "Are you absolutely sure you want to report it? Oh, very well..." I kid you not 

Avatar
burtthebike [1219 posts] 7 months ago
9 likes
Ramuz wrote:

"Police were not called to the incident, so the van driver will not face charges."

So provided no-one calls the police when I murder my neighbour then bury him in the back garden, all is fine.

Only if your neighbour was a cyclist.

Avatar
jh27 [99 posts] 7 months ago
0 likes
Leviathan wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Never ride within 5ft of parked vehicle doors

Here's the catch: This is great advise, but on many UK roads, like the one show you would just stay in primary position all the time, and this would be seen as aggressive blocking by many motorists. No one is asking for punishment passes or condoning them, but they are inevitable. Many cyclists would rather be oblivious to the danger of a dooring than risk dangerous driving around themselves. 

Sorry that isn't an answer, it is a psychological Catch 22, keep your wits around you. 

If it's a choice between:
A. Somebody taking offence at my positioning and somebody perhaps willfully endangering me.
B. Being doored due to someone's carelessness and then being flattened by vehicle behind being carelessly driven (or an oncoming vehicle).

I'm going to go with option A.

I find that if I position my self in a good secondary position and take primary when necessary, I get a lot fewer careless close passes. It might mean more punishment passes (though not yet in my experience). There are lots more 'careless' drivers than 'dangerous' drivers, but both are equally dangerous if you let them - i.e. there are a lot more motorists who will unintentionally harm you, if you let them them, than will intentionally harm you (in my experience).

Avatar
jh27 [99 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
Leviathan wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Never ride within 5ft of parked vehicle doors

Here's the catch: This is great advise, but on many UK roads, like the one show you would just stay in primary position all the time, and this would be seen as aggressive blocking by many motorists. No one is asking for punishment passes or condoning them, but they are inevitable. Many cyclists would rather be oblivious to the danger of a dooring than risk dangerous driving around themselves. 

Sorry that isn't an answer, it is a psychological Catch 22, keep your wits around you. 

If it's a choice between:
A. Somebody taking offence at my positioning and somebody perhaps willfully endangering me.
B. Being doored due to someone's carelessness and then being flattened by vehicle behind being carelessly driven (or an oncoming vehicle).

I'm going to go with option A.

I find that if I position my self in a good secondary position and take primary when necessary, I get a lot fewer careless close passes. It might mean more punishment passes (though not yet in my experience). There are lots more 'careless' drivers than 'dangerous' drivers, but both are equally dangerous if you let them - i.e. there are a lot more motorists who will unintentionally harm you, if you let them them, than will intentionally harm you (in my experience).

Avatar
jh27 [99 posts] 7 months ago
1 like
Leviathan wrote:
CXR94Di2 wrote:

Never ride within 5ft of parked vehicle doors

Here's the catch: This is great advise, but on many UK roads, like the one show you would just stay in primary position all the time, and this would be seen as aggressive blocking by many motorists. No one is asking for punishment passes or condoning them, but they are inevitable. Many cyclists would rather be oblivious to the danger of a dooring than risk dangerous driving around themselves. 

Sorry that isn't an answer, it is a psychological Catch 22, keep your wits around you. 

If it's a choice between:
A. Somebody taking offence at my positioning and somebody perhaps willfully endangering me.
B. Being doored due to someone's carelessness and then being flattened by vehicle behind being carelessly driven (or an oncoming vehicle).

I'm going to go with option A.

I find that if I position my self in a good secondary position and take primary when necessary, I get a lot fewer careless close passes. It might mean more punishment passes (though not yet in my experience). There are lots more 'careless' drivers than 'dangerous' drivers, but both are equally dangerous if you let them - i.e. there are a lot more motorists who will unintentionally harm you, if you let them them, than will intentionally harm you (in my experience).

Avatar
dougie_c [36 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

Yep, "a door and a little bit more."

And develop the habit of scanning vehicles that you pass for signs of occupancy. If you're going fast enough so as to be unable to contemplate the probability that the door of each vehicle that you pass will open (e.g. on a descent), then that'd be "a door and a whole lot more."

Cyclists who fail to take this space are letting the rest of us down.

But it's important to co-operate with motorists: when there is space to let them pass safely, move in smartly, let them go.

Avatar
FluffyKittenofT... [1889 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes
dougie_c wrote:

Yep, "a door and a little bit more."

And develop the habit of scanning vehicles that you pass for signs of occupancy. If you're going fast enough so as to be unable to contemplate the probability that the door of each vehicle that you pass will open (e.g. on a descent), then that'd be "a door and a whole lot more."

Cyclists who fail to take this space are letting the rest of us down.

But it's important to co-operate with motorists: when there is space to let them pass safely, move in smartly, let them go.

But I suspect many cyclists, particularly those who aren't hard-core Strava types or active-travel activists, will be influenced by the incessant refrain from petrolheads, complaining about cyclists 'being in their way' and 'taking up the whole road'. And not just expressed in person on the roads but on forums and in newspapers and all forms of media.

That chorus of ignorance is has to contribute to many cyclists ending up in the door zone out of a desire to be accommodating and 'share the road'.

(And then there are the door-zone cycle lanes, giving an official stamp of approval to being there)

Avatar
davel [1971 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
FluffyKittenofTindalos wrote:
dougie_c wrote:

Yep, "a door and a little bit more."

And develop the habit of scanning vehicles that you pass for signs of occupancy. If you're going fast enough so as to be unable to contemplate the probability that the door of each vehicle that you pass will open (e.g. on a descent), then that'd be "a door and a whole lot more."

Cyclists who fail to take this space are letting the rest of us down.

But it's important to co-operate with motorists: when there is space to let them pass safely, move in smartly, let them go.

But I suspect many cyclists, particularly those who aren't hard-core Strava types or active-travel activists, will be influenced by the incessant refrain from petrolheads, complaining about cyclists 'being in their way' and 'taking up the whole road'. And not just expressed in person on the roads but on forums and in newspapers and all forms of media. That chorus of ignorance is has to contribute to many cyclists ending up in the door zone.

Indeed. Plus on some narrower roads, where cars are parked either side with space for one car to travel down the middle, it's impossible *not* to be in the door zone - or at least uncomfortably close to it.

My current commute is mainly rural and suburban, but there is one stretch, only about 80m, outside some village shops where I swing as wide as I can and take it very easy - it's full of schoolkids and schoolrun Mums/Dads parking everywhere and jumping out to the shops, with cars meeting down the middle. But sometimes I've just got to go right down the middle and take it easy - you'd have to be Evel Knievel to avoid it.

The onus has got to be on the impatient, inconsiderate berks who just fling their doors open, to stop doing it.

Avatar
KendalRed [104 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

I think, personally, that trying to implement the Dutch Reach is pissing in the wind to an extent. Plus, those motorists who would adopt it, are probably those who wouldn't be guilty of dooring anyone in the first place. It would need massive publicity - like the Public Information Films that we used to have, but for some reason don't have any more (unless you live in Scotland, or like me have a TV region that crosses the border).

It's the arrogant feckers who drive using mobiles, put their seatbelts on AFTER setting off, cut the corners at junctions and pass within a gnat's todger 'I'll-do-anything-I-like-when-I'm-behind-the-wheel' cockwomble who do this type of thing.

Avatar
biketime [27 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes
Ramuz wrote:

"Police were not called to the incident, so the van driver will not face charges."

So provided no-one calls the police when I murder my neighbour then bury him in the back garden, all is fine.

Nah, only here in America.  Scotland "What's this, then" Yard would have it well in hand, right?

Avatar
QDubs [17 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

Van driver is at fault, but so to are TRAFFIC ENGINEERS who have not designed a safe roadway. We can promote 'Dutch Reach' and all maner of other bits for drivers to be more careful but it will have extremely limited benefit. Cement (as in kerbs that damage tyres) is more effective enforcement than paint or paper summonses.

Avatar
Richard D [103 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

The comments here are all as they should be: stupid van driver, poor infrastructure, likely close overtake coming from the car behind, and cyclists should stay out of the door zone - but it's easy to feel pressurised by motorists into making that sort of mistake.

But I came to this video clip on FB, in a general news feed, and the number of drivers who were posting comments about how it was the cyclist's fault, the car should have run him over, the van driver deserves praise, cyclist probably jumps red lights and wasn't insured etc etc is truly terrifying.

Why do so many motorists act - and think - like completely selfish twats?  And why am I not allowed to kill the morons who I have to encounter twice a day on my commute by bike?

Avatar
severs1966 [415 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes
Paul_C wrote:

always report a collision with another vehicle... it all goes into the stats...

 

No, many cops will try very hard to not record anything if the victim is on a bike. Some cops will even become threatening and abusive if you press your rights (yes, it has happened to me).

Avatar
urbane [91 posts] 6 months ago
1 like

These van cretins should note that they could:
* be prosecuted for causing serious injury or manslaughter from negligence.
* lose the van door from collision damage with oncoming traffic, so render the vehicle usable for several days, and maybe not covered by insurance, even without a cyclist involved!
* be sued by a oncoming driver for the shock of running over a cyclist and damage to their vehicle from the open door, and also face police prosecution for both!