Home > Bicycling, Car Culture, Transit > “Insist on a cop and you’re going to get a ticket…”

“Insist on a cop and you’re going to get a ticket…”

As I was driving a 271 out of Bellevue Transit Center this morning I noticed a car with a smashed driver’s side door and broken glass all over the ground.  A woman, who thankfully appeared uninjured, was speaking with two police officers.  At the time,  I didn’t think much of it and just continued on my route.  It turns out the damage was courtesy of a Metro bus coupled with her lack of understanding what awaited her door in the moving lane of traffic she was opening it into.  Apparently, she was *sure* it was the bus driver’s fault – not hers – so she insisted that the Police respond to the accident.  Bad call…

When you are opening a car door into traffic, it is *your* responsibly to verify that it is safe to do so and that it doesn’t interfere with other traffic.  Don’t believe me?  Check out RCW 45.51.620.  A supervisor I spoke with after all of this recalled the many accidents he responded to exactly like this one.  In many of the cases, the drivers had the same reaction and insisted that the bus driver was at fault, that King County was responsible for the damage, and that the police be called.  Each time this happened, he warned them that they would most likely receive the ticket, not the bus driver.  To date, he has been proven correct each time.

Seriously, people, can you spend a few seconds to look in your mirror and make sure you aren’t going to injure a cyclist, have your car door removed, or worse?

Categories: Bicycling, Car Culture, Transit
  1. March 30, 2010 at 6:49 pm

    As a cyclist, more than once I have slammed the door on someone opening it into me. It always freaks them out.

  2. trevorthebusdriver
    March 31, 2010 at 6:44 am

    Love it! I also love when they see you coming, walk out between the parked cars and open their door anyway. Or if they think they don’t have time, instead of staying on the sidewalk or even between the parked cars, they squish up against their car door. Idiots.

  3. April 13, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    Seriously, why would you NOT think it’s your responsibility to look for the sheer reason of not getting your door taken off? When I used to drive, I was always worried that there would be damage to my car. Why do people think they have no responsibility for their own property? It just kills me. What’s funny is that if they doored a cyclist, they wouldn’t get a ticket. But if they hit a bus, they do. Not funny, but sad.

  4. January 19, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    Same thing when people drove into the Waterfront Streetcar … which was a bigger deal because of laws against interfering with railways …

    Always loved it when they blamed the streetcar even when they crashed into the middle or back of it … ergo most of the streetcar had already passed them when they hit it …

    Cops always cited the driver and told them that they were in for a shock if they tried to sue for damages (i.e. they’d loose)

  1. April 13, 2010 at 9:01 pm
  2. April 13, 2010 at 9:25 pm
  3. October 30, 2010 at 4:36 pm

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