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Philly cyclist wins lawsuit
Last Post 06/19/2014 09:34 PM by Andy Eunson. 6 Replies.
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Yo Mike

Posts:269

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06/18/2014 09:26 AM
http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/06/12/philadelphia-cyclist-wins-2-4-million-judgment-doored-run/

Glad she won, but I suspect she'd rather never have needed to.....
79pmooney

Posts:1173

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06/18/2014 01:56 PM
Wow! I have been claiming road space to ride clear of car doors for exactly that reason for decades. Oregon Law says that we are to ride as far to the right as "practicable". If I ever come before a judge, I may use this example to show that riding within the swing of car doors really isn't.

And here we have a graphic example of why I have been telling Portland's premier cycling lawyer, Ray Thomas, that his neat little card of key laws protecting cyclists has one key error. He misquotes the law as "possible" , not "practicable". Riding within the swing of car doors is always "possible". He does list avoiding hazards as an exception, but to me, the ability to start moving to the left way early to claim road space when I see that parked car up ahead is crucial. And the "possible" wording bans that. Until that wording is changed, I will never carry that card. I do not want a single motorist to ever see that wording and believe it is fact.

Ben
Oldfart

Posts:485

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06/18/2014 03:05 PM
Drivers that open doors without looking or worse look and open anyway are one of my biggest complaints about drives in this town. People don't seem to realize that you can't walk onto the street let alone open your vehicle door until traffic including bikes have passed by.

I did witness justice one day. Absolutely awesome. I hear a loud bang and see a large truck, dump truck or maybe cement truck skid to a halt. I see a woman in a Mercedes 550 sl with her high heeled foot in the air and her door folded all the way forward against her front fender. She had simply pushed the door wide open with her foot into the trucks path. No injuries so I clapped. Moron.
79pmooney

Posts:1173

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06/18/2014 10:42 PM
Andy, even a fairly low speed impact from us will virtually guarantee the hinges and rearmost portion of the side panel will be bent permanently and that the door will not close properly (and probably not at all). I did just that and walked away unharmed except for two deep 1" bruises, on on each thigh my first time. Damage to my bike? Twisted handlebars. Straightened them and rode home.

People have no clue that if anyone hits that door, it's totaled, that panel is totaled and (at least everywhere I have ever lived) the opening of the door into traffic was illegal.

Ben
thinline

Posts:152

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06/19/2014 04:23 PM
Ben, we have the use of the word "practicable" in Vermont and I agree that it allows things like you describe. If the shoulder is in bad shape, I don't ride on it. It's possible, but not practicable. And, hey, I am lawyer and we assume that the legislature chose the wording it did for a specific reason. Practicable implies some level of discretion based on circumstance whereas possible means get over there no matter what as long as it is physically possible. Your lawyer's approach basically would put a burden of proof on a cyclist to assert an affirmative necessity defense for breaking the law and should therefore be excused for the violation. The way it is written, the prosecutor would have to prove that the cyclist did not exercise proper discretion. Burden on prosecution, not cyclist. I wish people, including cops, understood this more.
thinline

Posts:152

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06/19/2014 04:26 PM
Andy,

This lawyer goes out at lunch one day to pick up his new Ferrari. He returns to work, parks, opens his door without looking and BAM! Door torn off by passing car. The police arrive to find the lawyer screaming at the other driver for trashing his new Ferrari. The cop interrupts and says, "Sir, you shouldn't be so upset about your car. Look, your arm got torn off." The lawyer looks to see his arm is gone, turns to the driver and screams, "You son of a b****, that was a Rolex I was wearing!"
Oldfart

Posts:485

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06/19/2014 09:34 PM
Hahaha.
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