Better Look Before You Open Your Car Door

Drivers will have to pay attention to bicyclists before they open car doors or face a fine under a bill approved by the Wisconsin Legislature.

The bill approved by the Senate and Assembly on Tuesday requires drivers to take "due precaution" to ensure opening their doors will not interfere with traffic or endanger any person. Violators could be fined $40.

The plan also eliminates a requirement that riders allow three feet between their bike and any vehicle. It is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Jim Doyle.

Lawmakers introduced the bill after a Madison woman last year fractured a vertebra when a motorist opening a door threw her off her bike. The woman received a $10 citation for riding too close to the car.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by jim Location: pitt on May 4, 2009 at 09:48 AM
    i drive a car, that has to meet all these different federal safety spec..but what kind to safety equipment does a bike have? or what kind of training do you have to have to ride one?
  • by sam Location: farmville on May 4, 2009 at 08:45 AM
    I don't ride a bike while in Greenville. Those drivers in the cars are NUTS. I've seen cars diving in and out of the lanes. They don't care if someone is walking or riding a bike they just dive in and out. I think they need cameras all over the place to ticket these drivers that act NUTS. Their on cell phones, texting, eating & putting on make up or looking at themsleves in the mirror. When driving, DRIVE. If you need to talk or look at your face then PLEASE pull off the road to do it.
  • by Dave on May 4, 2009 at 07:43 AM
    I guess that the DOOR IS STILL OPEN when it comes to this matter.
  • by Lynne Location: Ayden on May 4, 2009 at 07:22 AM
    Anonymous on May 3, 2009 at 10:27 PM, Bicycles are vehicles and as such are supposed to follow many of the same laws that cars and motorcycles do. That means they are supposed to obey traffic signals and signs, use signals (hand in most cases), ride WITH traffic, etc. Here's a link to the NCDOT Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation: http://www.ncdot.gov/transit/bicycle/
  • by Tracey Location: Washington on May 4, 2009 at 06:55 AM
    If you are gonna get the bikes lets get the mopeds. Can't understand how they get away wit hit when you have to have a license for a motorcyle but not mopeds plus they should have to pay taxes and pay insurance on them just like the rest of os motorist.
  • by ace Location: plymouth on May 4, 2009 at 05:44 AM
    How can a motorist anticipate what a bicyclist will do? Have you ever followed one? They cut in and out of traffic. Go between cars, ride on the wrong side of the road. They do not follow any kind of rules. A competant bicycle rider would anticipate a car door opening. Now there will be a fine because of some stupid mistake by a rider and a politician wants to get votes.
  • by Anonymous on May 4, 2009 at 05:21 AM
    When I was growing up in a different area, we were required to have city tags on our bikes and they were registered. We were also give a copy of rule of the roads for bike rider and instructed on proper use of hand signals, going with the flow of traffic and other things necessary to be safe on a bike on the public roads. Maybe they need to start having bike safety classes for everyone that rides.
  • by ~ALPHA female~ Location: O84P on May 3, 2009 at 09:20 PM
    WHEEL people in cars pay more attention now? ...A bicycle can't stand alone; it is TWO tired.
  • by MrT Location: LaNC on May 3, 2009 at 08:32 PM
    My opinion is that bicyclists should be made to put insurance and license tags on thier vehicles if they are going to ride on the public street. Why should MY insurance have to pay if someone is careless on a bicycle and falls against my car and scratches or dents it? Or if they run out in front of me, and its thier fault, then who pays thier medical bills? If they're at fault, and they don't have hospitalization insurance, I guess the Taxpayers will have to pick up thier slack.
  • by Anonymous on May 3, 2009 at 07:27 PM
    Its the person on the bikes fault. They should ride facing the other direction the traffic is going. They can ride on the side of the road and should have to pay attention. Under this law you can't even open your car door because some nut will see you open it and run into it on purpose. I can see it now.
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