Zip Drivers Reminded: Don’t ‘Door’ Bikers!

In eternally progressive Cambridge, a new project will put little reminder stickers on all Zipcar driver-side mirrors, saying “watch for bikes.” (The image above was the only one available, but they’ll be transparent, and won’t impede rear-viewing.)

No one who regularly rides a bike needs me to explain the awful experience of being “doored.” But four-wheeled drivers might be surprised to know how appallingly frequent it is for a driver to open the car door without looking, right in the path of a hapless biker who then goes tumbling into the street and possibly into the hospital. As of last year, “dooring” is an official violation in Massachusetts.

Fatal bike accidents are rare, according to a Boston Globe article in April, with only a handful recorded each year. But reported non-fatal bike accidents number in the hundreds statewide, and a great many more are never reported.

The mirror reminders are a joint effort by Boston-based Zipcar and the grassroots group TROMP, for Travel Responsibility Outreach and Mentoring Project. My vote: spread the decals far beyond Zipcar drivers.

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  • Clint Cavanaugh

    What a fabulous idea!!! I’ve been riding my bike in the city for years and–knock on wood–have yet to be doored. I chalk that up to careful riding, though, because I’ve had plenty of doors thrown open right in front of me. I may never understand why someone on a busy street thinks it’s okay to fling their door open as widely as possible, but this little decal could make a big, big difference. It should be on all cars!