Dear IDOT: A Dooring is a Crash

Today, Chicago Tribune reported on Active Transportation Alliance's campaign to have Illinois Department of Transportation record doorings. We asked IDOT why their crash data doesn't include doorings. Their reponse, people aren't requesting that we track those crashes. We've asked and now we're asking again.

It is a crime in Illinois to open a car door into traffic when it isn't safe to do so. As we all know, way too many doorings result because of people not looking before opening their vehicle doors.

At our 2010 Annual Member Meeting we conducted a survey asking how many attendees had been doored. A majority of the bicyclists in the room had been doored. But these incidents will not be found anywhere in IDOT's data.

Please contact IDOT and tell them to count doorings as crashes. Call the Divison of Traffic Safety (217) 782-4972 or write a letter to Division of Traffic Safety, Illinois Department of Transportation, 2300 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL 62764.


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I work for a law firm that

I work for a law firm that has represented several people in doorings. We have clients who have had surgery, lost their jobs because of their injuries, etc...The attorney and I are asking our current bicyclist clients to participate in emailing their stories to IDOT. Thank you for providing this information.


In case anyone was wondering, email is indeed good! I just received a response from IDOT a little more than an hour after sending my request from the link I found in a response to this blog post above.

The response was, "We are reviewing this policy. Thank you for your webmail." It is signed by Anne Mohay-Hillen, IDOT Technical Manager and CC'd to three of her co-workers.

Dan, please add the IDOT email link to your blog post so that we can ramp up the request feedback!

My email text if anyone wants to copy and paste:
Dear IDOT,
It is a crime in Illinois to open a car door into traffic when it isn't safe to do so. A dooring of a bicycle by a car is a crash. This specific type of crash has led to severe injuries and deaths in Illinois. Please track and report doorings of bicyclists in your crash data so that we can improve the safety of our roads for all traffic - cars, bicycles, and pedestrians. Thank you for all your hard work!

Thanks ATA for working to make our commutes safer!

Dooring victims

To anyone who's friend or family member has been killed by dooring, my condolences on your loss.

I got involved with Active Trans after I was doored in June 2001. A few weeks later in August, I joined Active Trans (CBF) to help advocate for bicyclists. In those 10 years, I've seen many new laws and programs enacted to help cyclists.

I do believe that with Active Trans' help, we will succeed in quantifying the harm done by dooring. This will lead to more measures to minimize dooring.

In the meantime, individuals affected might consider connecting with Active Trans and others who can help soothe the loss of a friend or family member. Do it in a way that is meaningful and helpful to you. And if your injuries were not life threatening, but just scary - I can tell you that getting back on the bike is OK. Hard at first, but you can do it.

The Chicago Police could do a

Email is good, too

Yes, Jim, please feel free to email IDOT too. Calls, letters and emails will all be helpful.

Can anyone advise on whether

Can anyone advise on whether this email form is useful?

I'm most effective in email. :)

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