Shocking new VisionTrack dashcam footage captures the moment a cyclist is knocked to the ground after being ‘doored’ by a van driver.
The cyclist had a very lucky escape because he also narrowly avoided being crushed by the vehicle behind him which filmed the incident.
The footage has been released by vehicle CCTV firm VisionTrack to highlight the dangers cyclists face from motorists who open their car doors without looking – and how fleets can protect themselves from expensive insurance claims by fitting the cameras.
It happened just after the morning rush-hour in Islington, North London, on March 13 and was a filmed by a Volkswagen Jetta driver on his dashcam who was travelling behind the cyclist.
The footage shows the cyclist approaching the silver Renault Traffic van which is parked at the side of the road.
Without warning, the Renault van driver opens the driver’s door and completely flattens the cyclist.
The Jetta following has to brake abruptly to avoid crushing the cyclist who is sprawled on the road.
The video ends with the van driver urgently gesturing to the Jetta driver to reverse so that the cyclist can be tended to.
Amazingly, the cyclist escaped with only minor injuries and the police were not involved.
It is an offence under the Road Traffic Act 1988 to open ‘any door of a vehicle on a road so as to injure or endanger any person.’
But the offence is only punishable by a fine of up to £1,000 and no penalty points can be imposed on the offender’s licence.
Cyclists are calling for the penalties to be increased to stop further incidents of ‘dooring’ on Britain’s roads.
VisionTrack managing director Simon Marsh said: “This video captures very clearly the danger faced every day by cyclists from ‘dooring’
“In this case, the cyclist had an incredibly lucky escape because, as well as being flattened by the door of the van, he could easily have been crushed by the Jetta driver whose dashcam filmed the incident.
“This footage shows why it is vital that all vehicles are fitted with dashcams.
“They protect innocent drivers like the Jetta driver and they highlight the perils we all face through the careless actions of many people on our roads.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman confirmed that officers had not been called out to this incident and therefore no action was being taken against the van driver. All ‘dooring’ incidents are categorised as ‘collisions’ without being separately monitored.
It is estimated that there are around 600 each year but cycling groups reckon the true figure is much higher.
The cyclist can make a claim against the van driver’s insurance for his injuries and damage to his bike.
In October, Transport Secretary Chris Grayling knocked a cyclist off his bike when he got out of his ministerial car outside the Houses of Parliament in London. Grayling apologised and checked on the injured man.
In March, a taxi passenger who fatally knocked a cyclist into the path of a moving van when she opened the door without looking was fined just £80 at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.
Mandy Chapple, from Leicester, pleaded guilty to one charge of opening a vehicle door so as to injure or endanger another person after a popular teacher, Sam Boulton, was killed on his 26th birthday near the city’s railway station last year.
VisionTrack’s sales have risen by 40% the last year as increasing numbers of drivers invest in cameras.
All the footage filmed is court admissible, giving motorists complete protection in the event of an incident.
This new ‘dooring’ incident was filmed on one of its best-selling VT2000 cameras.
Mr Marsh added: “Dashcams are now pretty much standard equipment in Britain’s fleets but more private motorists are using them, too.
“With camera in your car you are covered for any eventuality. Just imagine what might have happened if the Jetta had hit the cyclist in this incident.
“Without the camera footage, how could the Jetta driver have proved his innocence?
“It is worth paying a little bit extra and getting a tamper-proof camera which provides footage which will stand up in court.”
For sales, ring 01242 225 745 or go to www.visiontrack.com