Failure to yield
[ UPDATE: 1/21/2012 - I'll be honest here and say that when I hear stories like this at Metro, I'm not always sure they are completely true. The rumor mill at Metro can be a little like a game of "Telephone" on steroids. That said, I was chatting with another supervisor recently about this particular story and asked if he knew it was true. "Absolutely" was his answer. He knew details about which route, the exact location of the collision, and why the cop gave this guy the ticket. So, be safe out there when opening your car door - you might damage your car, get a ticket, or worse... ]
Today somebody opened his car door in front of my bus, obviously without looking. I honked and slowed the bus enough to give him time to slam his door shut. To be honest, I’m not 100% sure I would have hit him – I try to stay as far away from car doors as possible, but Seattle streets are narrow! Still, it was a little too close for comfort.
This incident reminds me of a story I recently heard from one of the supervisors at Metro. He was on the scene of a bus vs. car door/driver’s hand. The driver of the car had opened his door into traffic without looking and had his car door, along with three of his fingers, removed by the bus. As he was being wheeled away to the ambulance the police officer at the scene handed him a ticket for failure to yield.
So… The next time you are opening your car door into traffic do yourself a favor and LOOK behind you and open the door slowly while still looking. This is also a good idea so you don’t hit a cyclist!