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Newsstand: September 3, 2013

Hope you all enjoyed the holiday yesterday! Now, back to work. In the news: one Toronto cop wants a change on dooring policy, the police chief requests information on recent shootings, anyone else who requests information from the mayor's office is allegedly not getting it, and Verizon is just not that into us, after all.

newsstand jeremy kai spring 4

A Toronto cop who was “doored” while on duty thinks the city’s police should start tracking similar incidents between cyclists and cars. Jeff Taylor, a bike cop in 13 Division, was hit by a car door in June while on his bike and on duty. Despite the fact that he was wearing a bulletproof vest, which helped break his fall, he fractured his sternum. Taylor emailed the Toronto Police Services board last month to urge them to again begin tracking dooring incidents, writing “they are a very serious threat to all cyclists.” Toronto police stopped tracking dooring separately from other bike-car collisions in 2012 after the province redefined “collisions” as incidents involving vehicles in motion. Between 2007 and 2011, there were an average of 144 dooring incidents reported each year in Toronto.

Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair is urging anyone with information on the recent shooting death of a teenage boy in Toronto to come forward. In an interview with Newstalk 1010 yesterday, Blair said that some of the boys may simply have been innocent victims caught in the crossfire between warring gang factions. The chief also urged anyone with information to come forward to police, saying it’s “almost impossible” to solve the crimes without community cooperation. So far there has only been one arrest in the shooting deaths of seven teenaged Toronto boys this year.

Putting in a freedom of information request to Mayor Rob Ford’s office? Apparently, you should be prepared to wait. A City spokesperson said on Friday that no records were received in June or July for requests made, and the first for August came in only on the last business day of that month. The Toronto Star said that three of the paper’s requests have missed their legislated 30-day deadline for a response.

Apparently Verizon doesn’t actually want to move into Canada after all. The company did consider entering the Canadian market by buying a smaller carrier like Wind or Mobilicity, then taking part in the January 2014 wireless auction, but decided on a different course last month. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam told Bloomberg News that the company’s interest in Canada was “way overblown.” Well, FINE THEN, Verizon. (Does this mean that the recent spate of better deals for wireless will end?)


  • The Man With No Name

    We tracked doorings for years and it had no impact on policy. Just keeping track of them is a meaningless task. The only thing we can do to decrease the amount of incidents is make it a criminal offense. At the very least drivers should be charged with criminal negligence.

    • andrew97

      This isn’t Texas, and we shouldn’t be criminalizing accidents. Education would be far more effective and cheaper.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        It isn’t an accident, it’s foreseeable.

      • Jacob

        It’s called “negligence”.

    • OgtheDim

      You want to make it noticeable.


      You door somebody.

      3 demerit points.

      • tomwest

        Isn’t there a useful general offence called “careless driving” or similar? Include dooring as part of that.

      • The Man With No Name

        Demerit points for creating a life-threatening situation? For breaking bones or ending a life? Fucking come on man. A massive fine, community service, or prison time are what’s needed for drivers who are incapable of checking to see if someone is coming before opening their door.

        • tyrannosaurus_rek

          Worth noting: drivers aren’t the only ones who can door a cyclist. Any passenger opening their door into the path of a cyclist can do it.

          • The Man With No Name

            I know, I’ve been doored by a passenger before. For the sake of convenience I was referring solely to drivers because it’s likely that 99% of “incidents” are caused by drivers. It’s not often that a cyclists rides by the passenger side of a car.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            It may not happen as often, but it doesn’t make sense to demerit (or otherwise punish) the driver for something the passenger did.

          • OgtheDim

            Sure it does.

            We punish drivers for people not having seatbelts on. They didn’t for awhile but put that back in.

          • tyrannosaurus_rek

            The driver can decide not to drive if a passenger doesn’t have their seat belt on, but can’t stop a passenger from opening the door or make them check for cyclists.

          • the_lemur

            True, but there’s the passenger door behind the driver’s door in the case of sedans.

        • OgtheDim

          Reality is that courts will not do fines etc. unless they absolutely have to and then after a long process. There is a reason why people are not charged everyday with dangerous driving when they could be.

          You want to stop people, hit them quick and where they notice.

          And that is demerit points.

          Reality is the doable and attainable.

          • The Man With No Name

            So if a driver kills someone by opeing a door without looking they should be subject to demerit points? Really, it should be treated as a criminal act.

  • tyrannosaurus_rek

    “Toronto police stopped tracking dooring separately from other bike-car collisions in 2012 after the province redefined “collisions” as incidents involving vehicles in motion.”

    How many doorings take place between stationary cars and bikes?

    • Toddzilla

      The article said, on average, 144 per year. That assumes, of course, that all of the doorings happened while the car was stationary. Seems a realistic assumption.

      • tyrannosaurus_rek

        I (sarcastically) asked how many doorings happen when both vehicles – bicycles are vehicles according to the HTA, the quote implies otherwise – are stationary.

  • OgtheDim

    “(Does this mean that the recent spate of better deals for wireless will end?)”


    • dsmithhfx

      If I was the newspaper industry, I’d be out beating the bushes for a verizon replacement.

  • tomwest

    “Toronto police stopped tracking dooring separately from other bike-car collisions in 2012 after the province redefined “collisions” as incidents involving vehicles in motion”

    That makes no sense – bicycles *are* vehicles. (And if they collide with a stationary car, then the bike must have been in motion).

    • the_lemur

      I’m sure the police consider it a collision when a moving car strikes a stationary one.
      The HTA provision regarding opening vehicle doors doesn’t distinguish as to whether a driver does it or what is affected:

      165. No person shall,
      (a) open the door of a motor vehicle on a highway without first taking due precautions to ensure that his or her act will not interfere with the movement of or endanger any other person or vehicle; or
      (b) leave a door of a motor vehicle on a highway open on the side of the vehicle available to moving traffic for a period of time longer than is necessary to load or unload passengers. R.S.O. 1990, c. H.8, s. 165.