The New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a campaign that seeks to warn taxi passengers of the dangers of opening doors without first checking behind to see if cyclists are approaching.
Seven cyclists have been killed in the city since 2007 after having vehicle doors opened in their path, says the DOT.
The campaign, called Look For Cyclists, includes 26,000 decals being placed on the passenger windows of the city’s 13,000 taxis, as well as a video that highlights the danger which will air in cabs on the dedicated Taxi TV channel as well as on the NYC Life channel.
“This safety campaign takes the message to New Yorkers and visitors that you need to take a second and take a look around whenever you get out of a car,” explained DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. “The best protection that bike riders and pedestrians have is our attention, and there is one thing everyone can do - look.”
“We believe the stickers and video will really resonate with riders and inspire them to pause for that critical second before they open the door and exit the taxi,” added Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky. “It’s that moment of pause that could make all the difference in the world to both a bicyclist and the taxi passenger alike.”
According to the DOT, levels of commuter cycling in the city doubled between 2007 and 2011, and a further boost is likely next year once the Citi Bike bicycle hire scheme goes live in March next year.
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.