Even though bicycles are, under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, considered a vehicle, and cyclists have just as much right to use the road as everyone else, when it comes to being doored by a parked car.
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Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) August 13, 2013
Hanson Duby Personal Injury Law (http://www.HansonDuby.com), a personal injury law firm serving the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), is releasing its expert opinion on the Toronto Police Services’ refusal to track the number of cyclists that have been “doored”—hit by the open doors of parked cars.
Toronto Police stopped tracking the number of cyclists “getting doored” in 2012, after new provincial guidelines defined a collision as involving a vehicle “in motion”—a cyclist hitting the open door of a parked car does not fit the strict definition. In 2011, there were 1,315 collisions involving bikes recorded in Toronto, the last year for which data is available; this number does not include a single dooring. (Source: Andrew-Gee, E., “Toronto cyclists fear dooring, but police don't track it,” The Toronto Star, June 25, 2013; http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/transportation/2013/06/25/toronto_cyclists_fear_dooring_but_police_dont_track_it.html.)
“Even though bicycles are, under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act, considered a vehicle, and cyclists have just as much right to use the road as everyone else, when it comes to being doored by a parked car, Toronto Police are turning a blind eye,” says Spyros Bekiaris, a lawyer at Hanson Duby Personal Injury Law. “While the chair of the Toronto Police Services Board wants the force to track how many cyclists are doored, police stopped recording the threat last year and have no immediate plans to resume the practice.”
Bekiaris joined Hanson Duby Personal Injury Law as an associate in September 2010. He graduated from York University with an Honours BA in political science in 2006 and from the Queen’s University, Faculty of Law with a JD in 2009. He formerly worked at a boutique insurance defence firm in Toronto, representing insurance companies.
Bekiaris has appeared before the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, the Small Claims Court, the Superior Court of Justice, and the Divisional Court. Bekiaris represents clients in a variety of disputes, including motor vehicle accidents, accident benefits, slips and falls, property damage claims and assault, representing the victims. Bekiaris is a member of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association and the Hellenic Canadian Lawyers’ Association.
“Between 2007 and 2011, the year before the new provincial guidelines were implemented, an average of 144 dooring incidents were reported in Toronto each year. And in 2008, a 57-year-old man was killed after he hit an open car door while riding his bike on Eglinton Avenue,” Bekiaris adds. “On top of that, in Chicago, a city of similar size to Toronto and one where dooring is recorded, an ambulance is called to the scene 50% of the time, versus 30% of the time for other cycling accidents.” (Source: Andrew-Gee, E., “Police board wants Toronto cops to review ‘dooring’ policy,” The Toronto Star August 6, 2013; http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2013/08/06/police_board_wants_toronto_cops_to_review_dooring_policy.html.)
“Ignoring this serious threat to Toronto cyclists is a major blind spot, and misrepresents how dangerous it can be for cyclists on Toronto roads. Toronto Police may not consider dooring to be a serious, or even reportable, incident, but the experienced team of personal injury lawyers at Hanson Duby does,” Bekiaris concludes. “We understand how devastating a dooring accident can be for cyclists, and why it’s important for cyclists injured in a dooring incident by distracted or negligent drivers to consult with a personal injury lawyer to help them explore their legal options.”
Hanson Duby Personal Injury Law is a personal injury law firm located in the Annex district of Toronto. The firm specializes in helping injured victims obtain compensation due to car accidents, long-term disability claims, life insurance claims, and product liability claims. The firm serves clients from across the Greater Toronto Area and provides service in English, Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil, Greek, and French. The site will soon evolve again and be updated to include pages in Mandarin, Cantonese, Tamil, and Greek to better serve those communities.
More information on Hanson Duby Personal Injury Law is available by visiting the firm's web site at http://www.HansonDuby.com or by calling 416-588-9100.