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Victoria police officer doors cyclist in Esquimalt

VicPD investigating Esquimalt Road incident after officer opens vehicle door in biker’s path
A Victoria police officer opened the door of their service vehicle into the path of a cyclist on Esquimalt Road on Nov. 10. The cyclist was taken to the hospital after hitting the opened door and police are now investigating the incident. (Black Press Media file photo)

A cyclist was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries last week as Victoria police investigate a crash involving one of its vehicles and an on-duty officer.

A Victoria Police Department officer parked their service vehicle while responding to a call in the 900-block of Esquimalt Road on Thursday (Nov. 10) morning. The officer opened their driver’s side door into the path of a cyclist, who then hit the door.

The officer started giving the cyclist medical assistance and called for paramedics and other officers to attend before the hurt biker was taken to the hospital.

VicPD said traffic officers documented the scene and they are investigating the crash with oversight from the department’s Professional Standards Section. VicPD also said the incident meets the standards of a reportable injury to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC).

Traffic officers are asking anyone with video footage of the incident or information about the crash to call the VicPD report desk at 250-995-7654, ext. 1.

The incident prompted a call for a protest outside the police station on the weekend, where demonstrators said they planned to ticket the officer responsible for the dooring incident.

Dooring is when a driver or passenger opens a car door unsafely into the path of oncoming traffic, resulting in a collision or swerving. In B.C., opening a car door when it’s unsafe to do so can land offenders a $368 fine.

The group of residents, who have raised road safety concerns after fatal and other serious crashes involving vulnerable cyclists and pedestrians in Saanich, said painted bike lanes are often less safe than no dedicated lanes at all because of the risk of dooring. They also called for the Motor Vehicles Act to be “part of the solution instead of part of the problem for active road users in our shared mobility spaces.”

The province says drivers and passengers should open their doors with the far hand by reaching across the body. This forces people to swivel and look in the mirror, out to the side and then over their shoulder to see any oncoming traffic.

“There are simple behaviour changes that can reduce the risk of dooring,” the province says.

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