Family of cyclist killed when taxi passenger opened door launch safety campaign

Sam Boulton's family want 'Sam Says' stickers on doors of every taxi in Leicester and also urge government to act...

The family of Sam Boulton, the cyclist killed in Leicester two years ago when a taxi passenger opened a door as he rode by, are calling for ‘Sam Says’ stickers, which warn people to look out for bike riders, to be put on the inside of doors in every taxi in the city.

The campaign, which is supported by the charity Cycling UK, is also calling for the Dutch Reach technique of opening car doors to be incorporated within the driving test and the Highway Code.

Sam, an artist and graphics teacher was riding past the East Midlands city’s railway station in 2016 when the taxi passenger opened the door, causing him to fall of his bike and into the path of a van with fatal consequences.

> Leicester taxi driver loses appeal against conviction in Sam Boulton dooring death case

His father, Jeff, has produced a video with the help of Cycling UK about the Dutch Reach,.

 He said: “Losing Sam has been heart-breaking for the whole family, but the fact that his death was due to entirely avoidable behaviour is particularly painful.

“People need to be aware of the life-threatening dangers of opening their car doors onto the road without carefully checking for cyclists first.

“The ‘Sam Says’ campaign will serve as a reminder of the dangers and potential human cost of car-dooring and the simple techniques that we can all learn to prevent it from happening.”

Stickers have been produced with the wording ‘Stop! Before you open the car door check for cyclists’, and Jeff continued: “Ultimately, we’d like to see these in taxis, fleet vehicles and family cars across the city as a reminder to drivers and passengers to take care when opening their doors.

“It’s a gentle way of urging people to change their habits until the government decides to make this a formal part of driver training.”

Two of the biggest cab firms in Leicester have already backed the initiative.

Tracey Whitehead, director of Swift cabs, said: “The ‘Sam Says’ campaign has our full support. With the number of cyclists on the road increasing each year, it’s vital that car-dooring is highlighted as a serious danger.

“The ‘Sam Says’ stickers will be displayed in all our cars and we hope that further tragedies are prevented thanks to this powerful campaign.”

David Hunter, managing director of ADT Taxis, added: “ADT Taxis are pleased to supporting the campaign to create awareness of car-dooring.

“We are delighted to join our friends at Swift Fox Cabs as members of the local taxi trade, to spread the word amongst not just our drivers and customers, but to the community at large.”

Duncan Dollimore, head of advocacy and campaigns at Cycling UK, commented: “We applaud Sam’s family for their strength in campaigning to raise awareness of the dangers of car-dooring.

“Sam’s tragic death should act as a reminder for all drivers about their responsibility to ensure passengers do not cause harm to others when exiting a vehicle. Car-dooring is completely avoidable and can kill.

“This is why Cycling UK is joining the families of those affected by car dooring to call on the government to improve driver education and introduce a new offence of causing or permitting serious injury or death by car dooring backed by tougher penalties.”

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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