A cyclist in New York City who was lying on the ground after being doored by a car driver was questioned by police officers over whether he had been riding in the bike lane – and was told that he may receive a summons.
The incident was filmed by another cyclist who had been following the Domino’s delivery rider along West 21st Street in the Chelsea district of Manhattan on Monday.
The footage shows the Domino’s cyclist leaving the bike lane just before he was doored by a motorist who opened the door of his van.
Gothamist reports that paramedics and police arrived on the scene within minutes, with one of the officers asking the cyclist who shot the footage, “Was he getting off right here?
“Because there's a bike lane here, so technically you're supposed to ride in the bike lane.”
Another officer asked the injured cyclist, who was apparently motionless on the ground: “Sir, were you in the bike lane?”
The officer added: “OK, we have to give him a summons for not driving in the bike lane.”
The cyclist who took the video, who wanted to remain anonymous, said afterwards: “He was nonresponsive to our many attempts to revive him, his eyes were closed.
“When the paramedics came he was more responsive, but still sluggish—slurred speech.”
He added that he saw the police officers writing, but did not know whether it was a summons.
Gothamist, which has contacted the New York Police Department (NYPD) says that under state law, cyclists are obliged to use bike lanes.
However, it adds that there are exceptions such as where the lane is blocked or when the cyclist is preparing to turn.
So far this year, 28 cyclists have been killed in New York City – a threefold increase on 2018 – and in two of those cases, the rider was the victim of a dooring.
According to Gothamist, neither of those cases resulted in action against the person opening the door.
Relations between the cycling community and New York Police Department have been strained due to the force reacting to cyclist fatalities by ticketing cyclists in the area in the following days.
During such operations, cyclists have even been fined for non-existent offences such as not wearing a cycle helmet, which is not a legal requirement for cyclists in the state.
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.