“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?