New law protects Raleigh cyclists from opened car doors
by WNCN Staff
A new ordinance passed by City Council requires anyone exiting a vehicle to ensure that the coast is clear before opening their car door. (AP Photo)
RALEIGH, N.C. -
A new ordinance passed by Raleigh City Council requires
anyone exiting a vehicle to ensure that the coast is clear before opening their
City Council unanimously approved a new bicycle ordinance
following a public hearing held during the council's meeting Tuesday.
The city says the ordinance "helps clarify differences
between a bicycle and a motor vehicle and defines the streets and facilities
that may be used by bicyclists."
As part of the ordinance, it is now illegal to "open
the door of a motor vehicle on the side available to moving traffic unless it
is reasonably safe to do so." Meaning anyone who exits a vehicle must
ensure that no other vehicles, including bicycles, are coming on the side of
the road they are exiting.
The ordinance also makes it unlawful to leave a vehicle door
open "for a period of time longer than necessary to load or unload
The law is intended to protect cyclists from crashing into
car doors when they are opened in their path.
The ordinance further establishes pedestrians' right-of-way
when pedestrian and bicyclist pathways cross or merge.