“Dooring” may not be a household word yet, but it’s on the way to becoming a traffic infraction in Virginia.
It’s what occurs when someone opens a car door into a lane with moving traffic and a bicyclist slams into it.
Sen. Chap Petersen’s legislation (SB736) would forbid opening a door into moving traffic “unless and until it is reasonably safe to do so.” A violation would carry a $100 civil penalty.
The bill, which has already cleared the state Senate, got a 4-2 thumbs-up from a House subcommittee Wednesday and now goes to the full Transportation Committee.
Dooring is “a significant injury factor” for bicyclists, Petersen, D-Fairfax County, told the panel.
Michael Gilbert of Ride Richmond, a bicycling group, said dooring is already illegal in 40 states.
Petersen’s measure may be bicyclists’ last hope for bike-friendly legislation in the 2013 General Assembly. A bill to outlaw tailgating bikes (HB1950) failed in the House last week.