As man charged in dooring death, cyclists call for harsher penalties

A charge has now been laid after a cyclist was killed in a crash involving an open car door in January. The driver faces a fine, but as @CityNewsTravis reports, cycling advocates want a stiffer penalty.

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – It’s time to revamp our driving laws to better protect cyclists.

We’re hearing that from riders after a man was killed in North Vancouver in a dooring incident in January.

Dooring is when drivers carelessly open their car doors, either causing a cyclist to collide with the door, or causing them to swerve to avoid the door, which can also cause injury.

Under the laws in place, the man charged in cyclist Mike McIntosh’s death faces a maximum fine of $81.

But Richard Campbell with the BC Cycling Coalition says that isn’t enough of a deterrent.

“Higher fines in conjunction with education,” says Campbell. “So, have the fine higher, and make sure the drivers know about it, and make sure they know to check first, probably teach them the Dutch Reach, opening the door with the opposite arm.”

His group is pushing for penalties as high as $368 and three demerit points, as part of a larger push to rewrite driving laws to better accommodate everybody on the road — not just cars.

“We will be meeting with government officials over the next few months, and encouraging them to change the rules so it’s safer out there for people cycling and walking,” says Campbell.

And in serious cases involving injury or death, Campbell says jail time should also be part of the equation.

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