Ever been doored? It is actually illegal
By Andreas on 15/11/2011 in Safe cycling in London
I was once witness to a car dooring. My friend was pedalling past stationary traffic less than a metre ahead of me, when suddenly a passenger opened their door, knocking my friend off his bike. Miraculously he didn't have a single scratch. His back wheel was completely buckled.
It turns out that the passenger had actually committed a criminal offence and would be liable of a fine up to £1000. The exact wording is: it's an offence to open " any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person ".
What is particularly interesting is that there doesn't have to be a crash for the offence to have been committed. If you have to swerve to avoid the crash, then this would be classified as having been endangered by the driver.
For the many of us who've had to do this on more than one occasion it's interesting to read that technically we've had an offence committed against us and could have pursued legal action.
(See also: Steps to keep in mind if you are ever in an accident)
If you've suffered a similar fate to that of my friend then it is worth knowing that you could pursue a dooring as an offence. Even if the person who doored you or nearly doored you was a passenger.
The driver or passenger of course can defend themselves by claiming you were riding too close or that there was no danger to you.
Jorren Knibbe has more on what to do if this happens to you in the excellent blog post Laws of Car Doors.