It's the bane of cyclists everywhere. Even though it's the driver's job not to open his or her door into traffic, dooring is yet another potentially fatal traffic situation that's become Entirely Our Problem. This is because most drivers are generally too addled, inconsiderate, or just plain stupid to meet even the most basic responsibilities of operating a motor vehicle, such as looking before opening the fucking door.
This is not going to change anytime soon.
For this reason, I was encouraged to see a Kickstarter campaign for a "dooring alert system:"
Too many bicycle-related Kickstarters involve superfluous electronic devices that complicate stuff that's already easy, such as opening a u-lock. Dooring, on the other hand, is a situation in which electronic devices could potentially make a huge difference, since the one thing they do pretty well is pay attention to the stuff we refuse to acknowledge. So I excitedly speculated about how an electronic anti-dooring system might work:
Would it scan the area behind the car for oncoming cyclists?
Would it prevent the door from opening until the coast is clear?
Well, it does have a seatbelt and brake-activated camera that monitors the door zone:
So this alerts the driver not to open the door because a cyclist is approaching, right?
All it does is turn on a stupid Knight Rider light on the windshield, and after that it's the cyclist's problem:
"The signal is visible from significant distances in both night and day conditions, ensuring the rider has ample time to take evasive action."
Is this Jeremy Clarkson doing a bit?
How is this any better than what we've got now (which is nothing)?
Firstly, light or no light, it's the driver's responsibility not to open his or her car door into traffic. Period, the end. Secondly, even if it wasn't, how is that "visible from significant distances?" You can hardly see it through the glare on the windshield! Thirdly, people put all kinds of flashing crap on their cars, so as a cyclist why would you associate this with an opening door? I'd just assume this was one of those dumb fake alarm lights people put on their dashboards. And, perhaps most crucially, WHY IS IT IN THE FRONT OF THE CAR? I'm against salmoning, but the one thing it's got going for it is it's pretty hard to get doored that way.
This isn't safety equipment, it's the kind of shitty accessory you'd find at the car wash next to the air fresheners and dashboard hula dancers.
Leave it to a couple of people from the world's least bike-friendly country to design anti-dooring device that basically tells cyclists to go fuck themselves. I look forward to their next project, which will be a warning light for guns that flashes just before you get shot.
And now, I'm pleased to present you with a quiz. As always, study the item, think, and click on your answer. If you're right a meaningless light will go on somewhere, and if you're wrong you'll see someone telling it like it is (using some NSFW language).
Thanks very much for reading, ride safe, and and assume every stationary car contains an idiot who's about to fling the door open and pounce.
--Wildcat Rock Machine
(Typical Masters cyclist.)
1) British Masters champion Andrew Hastings blamed his positive doping test result on:
--An imported nutritional supplement
--An erectile dysfunction treatment
--A tainted haggis
--A used syringe he borrowed from a stranger at the gym
(It takes two disembodied hands to hoist a Rivendell.)
2) Rivendell's retail store is called:
--Bike, Book and Hatchet
--Ol' Man Petersen's House of Ferrous Velocipedes and Canvas Curios
--The Lug N' Tug
(Fred humping another cycling "innovation")
3) Which is not one of Gizmag's top 10 cycling innovations of 2015?
--An automated suspension fork adjustment system
--A wireless dropper seatpost
--A chamois with built-in dehumidifier
4) What is "Wavetrans?"
--A transgender cycling club
--A new gear shifting system
--An automated handlebar-mounted hand that waves at other cyclists
--An undetectable blood booster supposedly making its way into the pro peloton
5) Find the shining helmets and you will find the team.
--His Brompton has a motor
--His Brooks smells of British heritage and ass sweat (it takes a trained nose to tell them apart)
--He and his bicycle can finally practice the love that dare not speak its name
--All of the above
7) This fat bike mudguard doubles as a boot tray.
***Special Folding Fixie-Themed Bonus Video!***
A folding fixie? It's so uncool it's...no, it's still totally uncool.