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New York City campaign warns taxi passengers of danger of opening doors in path of cyclists (+ video)

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.

Simon joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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