Yet dooring is merely a $150 violation, not a crime, under New York State VTL Section 1214 [PDF]. And like Hayley & Diego’s law, which imposes jail time and a fine against drivers who fail to exercise due care, police are reluctant to cite drivers and passengers in dooring incidents unless they witness it themselves. Attempts to amend the law have fallen short in Albany.
“The population of cyclists in the city is growing, but the awareness of this dangerous act of opening a door into traffic is not,” said Daniel Flanzig, an attorney.
Flanzig said half his bike-crash cases involve dooring, with more than 35 clients injured in the past two years, many of whom win settlements. Under state and city traffic laws, it’s the duty of a person opening a car door to look first. Taxi passengers must exit curbside.