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Could stickers in taxis reduce the number of car doorings?

Cities battle with the problem of cyclists struck by carelessly opened doors

Every taxi in Oxford could be fitted with stickers reminding passengers to check for cyclists before opening the door, in an attempt to reduce the number of ‘car doorings’ in the city.

This summer, Leicester taxi driver Farook Bhikhu was fined £300 for allowing his passenger to open her door into the path of traffic, killing oncoming cyclist Sam Boulton.

It’s a worry for cyclists in the densely populated city of Oxford too.

Simon Hunt, chairman of Oxford cyclists' campaign group Cyclox, also said driving students should be taught about the 'Dutch reach' method of opening car doors with the opposite hand, which naturally turns the body in the direction of oncoming traffic.

He told the Oxford Mail: "This is a predominant issue in Oxford: it happens where there are lines of parked cars and there are some absolutely classic places: Warneford Lane and Iffley Road, for example.

"I know this is something that really bothers the cyclists of the Pedal and Post freight courier service.

"Taxis and private hire vehicles are a classic example and it seems to me some visual reminder on the door saying 'watch out for passing cyclists' would be a simple way to help."

According to Government figures obtained by Cycling UK, between 2011 and 2015, 3,108 people were injured and eight were killed by car dooring.

Of those who died, three had been in cars and five were cyclists.

Oxford city councillor Saj Malik, said: "This can be very dangerous if taxi drivers are careless, but to me it is not a big issue in Oxford.

"As a taxi driver, I will always make sure passengers get out on the pavement side.”

Earlier this year we reported how the family of Sam Boulton, the cyclist who was killed when a taxi passenger opened its door into his path, joined Cycling UK in calling for the creation of a new offence of causing serious injury or death by car-dooring.

They were among hundreds who braved poor weather to take part in a memorial ride for the Leicester teacher, at which Harborough MP Neil O’Brien promised to raise the issue with ministers.

Boulton was killed after being knocked into the path of a passing van on his 26th birthday on July 27, 2016.

In March, taxi passenger Mandy Chapple was fined £80 after admitting the offence of opening a car door, or causing or permitting it to be opened, so as to cause injury.

The same month saw the van driver, Nigel Ingram, admit failure to stop and driving while over the legal limit for alcohol. He was handed a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months and conditional on his attending a 12-week course for treatment for his alcohol addiction. He was also banned from driving for 28 months.

In June, private hire driver Farook Yusuf Bhikhu was fined £300 plus costs for the same offence as Chapple. He had chosen to park on double yellow lines outside Leicester Railway Station and permitted Chapple to disembark into the road rather than onto the pavement.

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

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