An estimated 300 dooring incidents occur each year in Toronto. The actual number if unknown because Toronto Police don’t keep track of dooring incidents because they don’t consider such incidents a collision because the car is not in motion.
Toronto Police Board Chair Alok Mukherjee has acknowledged the need for formal statistics on dooring and has requested a report from the police department on the feasibility of collecting these numbers. If the proposal is approved at the next police board meeting, the department will have several months to report back. Presuming the police department doesn’t resist the effort to collect statistics on dooring in their report back and presuming the full board supports the initiative, then police could start data collection later this year.
Justin Bull, a Toronto web developer, doesn’t want to wait and has started building an online database for cyclists to record dooring incidents. He hopes his site – doored.ca – will be up and running in a few weeks and will draw attention to the crashes and compel police to begin keeping track of the collisions.
The site will allow cyclists to post information about being doored, including when and where the collision happened, as well as the option of uploading photos or videos. The site will eventually map dooring hot spots in the city.
Tracking statistics around dooring is a critical first step in developing policies and strategies to prevent dooring incidents.
This is something Toronto Police should be actively supporting to keep city cyclists safe. But if they won’t do it willingly, then hopefully doored.ca will compel them to.