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Video to be aired in cabs and on local TV stations, all 13,000 taxis in city to be provided with window stickers

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.

6 comments

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jackh [121 posts] 4 years ago
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Maybe it would freak the customers out but it would just be best for the driver to keep the doors locked until he deems it to be safe.

I'm sure there have been more than a few smashed doors than the 7 tragic deaths involving cyclists.

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OldRidgeback [2662 posts] 4 years ago
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Great idea - had a taxi passenger open a door on me once when I was filtering thru traffic on my motorbike. Given that my old Ducati had thunderingly loud exhausts, I can only assume the woman in the cab was hearing impaired. She did get rather a shock as my front wheel came so close but luckily for all concerned I'd been paying rather more attention than she had.

This campaign should be introduced in the UK, and for car drivers too.

I also had a woman in the middle of a traffic jam open a car door on me and the edge of the door smashed into my hand, which hurt a lot. She'd decided simply to get out of her driver's seat and hadn't bothered to look. I managed to stay on my mountain bike and on that occasion, unleashed a volley of language. I try not to lose my cool on those occasions as it doesn't help, but I was in pain.

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Simon_MacMichael [2467 posts] 4 years ago
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Suspect in the UK we'd also need one on the windscreen reminding drivers to have a look before executing an on-a-sixpence U-turn.

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Coleman [335 posts] 4 years ago
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Put a similar sticker on all Blackberries in the City of London. Look before you cross the road.

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 4 years ago
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At last, some common sense does prevail, albeit not in the UK ...

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mrmo [2093 posts] 4 years ago
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i can remember seeing a passenger swing open the door on mansfield road in nottingham and then watch as a passing car removed the door. shortly followed by hysterical passenger ranting, crying etc in the middle of the road.

Stickers may help, but it doesn't solve the problem of stupidity.