Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing a new Chicago ordinance that would increase fins for bicyclists that do not obey traffic rules and for motorists who open their car doors without looking according to a Chicago Sun-Times article. The proposed ordinance would increase the fines for bicyclists who break traffic laws from $25 to a range of $50 t0 $200 dollars. The fine for parked motorists who open their car door in front of a bicyclist would be raised from $500 to $1000 dollars.
The bicycle accident lawyers of Zneimer & Zneimer, P.C. know first hand how dangerous and how common “dooring” accidents are in the city of Chicago since we handle many of these cases for injured bikers. A “doored” bicyclist at best is thrown on to the pavement and at worse is knocked by the door into the path of moving traffic. Either way, serious injuries are likely to result. CDOT now gathers data about the frequency of dooring accidents. Out of 1,675 bike crashes in Chicago last year, 250 were dooring crashes.
In a further attempt to reduce dooring crashes, the city plans to distribute stickers to be placed in taxi cabs in view of taxi passengers, reminding them to look out for bicyclist before exiting a taxi cab.