Today, we had the hearing on the “dooring” bill (SB 736), which deals with the opening of car doors into lanes of oncoming traffic. The measure is intended to protect other motorists and bicyclists in the travel lane.
This bill has been alternatively praised or ridiculed over the last week, depending on the commentator, the day of the week, or the median temperature. (I think the discussion from last week’s thread is still going on at 25+ comments). At least two Virginia columnists have described the bill as “asinine” or one of the “stupidest” of the session.
Obviously I beg to differ. Indeed, with over 750 bike-related accidents a year and six documented fatalities in 2011, I think it’s time we establish a safety standard, especially in urban areas with high traffic.
Anyway, the Senate Transportation Committee passed the bill this afternoon on a 7-6 vote, after testimony from the Richmond bicyclist community who came out in force to speak in favor of bicycle safety and common sense.
The bill will head to the floor to be voted on by the full Senate.