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Car dooring bill

The Victorian Parliament has announced an Inquiry into a new Greens-sponsored "dooring" law, which would increase the penalty for opening a door into the path of a cyclist.

The Greens say the current penalty is so low, it:
  • is not enough to act as a deterrent
  • has no impact on the driver's licence
  • discourages cyclists from reporting incidents
  • discourages police from taking action
  • The current penalty for 'dooring' is ridiculously low.
The proposed new law, tabled in Victorian Parliament by Greens MP Greg Barber, would increase the possible penalty for dooring to $1,122 and three demerit points on the driver's licence.

The Inquiry is an opportunity for Parliament to hear about all incidents, not just those reported to the police or represented in accident statistics.  So if you have something to say, this is your opportunity to be heard.
  • Do you think the penalty should be increased?
  • Do you think the penalty should include demerit points for the car driver's licence?
  • Do you think police should be given the option of taking the matter to court?
Written submissions must be in by 27 April 2012 for consideration.  All submissions can be sent to:

Secretary
Economy and Infrastructure Legislation Committee
Parliament House, Spring Street
EAST MELBOURNE VIC 3002

For more information about the bill and how to make a submission go to: Cyclists - tell your car door story

Parliamentary Committee submissions

  • Michael Cross, whose son James, 22, became the state's first recorded dooring fatality when an opened door sent him under a passing truck in Hawthorn in 2010, said the threat of demerit points would encourage drivers to act responsibly.
  • Mr Tivendale, who suffered serious head injuries after a car dooring accident, said docking offending drivers three demerit points would create a deterrent for motorists.
  • Tracey Gaudry, Chief executive of the Amy Gillett Foundation,  said tough penalties were aimed at changing driver behaviour and that current penalties were disproportionately low, stating "Raising penalties is a no-brainer when to have no bell on your bike is five penalty units and dooring is one"
  • Bicycle Network Victoria spokesman Garry Brennan supported doubling on-the-spot fines but said docking drivers demerit points was complicated for potential anomalies, such as when passengers opened doors on cyclists.

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