Cyclist sent flying after taxi door opens – but who is to blame?

Brooke Rolfe
News Reporter

Footage of a cyclist slamming into a taxi door that flung open suddenly in front of him has sparked debate online after road users weighed in on how the painful incident could have been avoided.

The crash unfolded on Thursday in Sydney when a RSL taxi pulled up on William Street in the CBD, to let a passenger out just before 5pm.

Without checking for cyclists using the adjacent bike path, which runs alongside Hyde Park, the passenger opened their door and a bike rider smacked into it.

The male cyclist tumbled across the ground but swiftly got to his feet to confront the person responsible.

Video then showed a man trying to close the passenger door, which appeared to have been too badly damaged in the incident to be shut properly.

After being uploaded to the Facebook page of Dash Cam Owners Australia, hundreds of people pointed the finger at who they thought was responsible for the collision.

The cyclist was flung from his bike after hitting the door. Source: Facebook/Dash Cam Owners Australia

Some blamed the driver of the taxi for not stopping in a designated park, others took aim at the passenger for not checking their surroundings, and many even criticised the council over poor planning.

The cyclist, despite riding in a bike path at the time, couldn’t avoid the critics either, with people arguing he should have been travelling slower.

“Yes there was fault from the driver and passenger, but how’s the cyclist going at ludicrous speed next to almost stationary traffic,” one person wrote in a comment.

“Bike rider was in the right but it’s in their own best interest to be aware that a cab pulled over may result in car door opening on him. The bike rider was in the right but as my dad used to say ‘the cemetery is full of people who were in the right’,” someone else said.

Another argued “the council needs to give designated areas” for taxis so they don’t need to pull up in dangerous areas.

“That's the problem. No place for cars to stop. Everywhere a taxi stops is illegal,” they wrote.

The man leapt to his feet to confront the person responsible. Source: Facebook/Dash Cam Owners Australia

Others questioned if the bike rider had difficulty seeing, as the taxi’s indicator was illuminated at the time of the incident.

“Taxi is stationary, left blinkers is on, is the bike rider blind? The passenger has no mirrors but did he get the ok to exit from the driver?,” one person wrote.

“It's the cyclists fault, should be riding slower and safer around vehicles,” someone else said.

Some suggested the “Dutch Reach” door opening method could have avoided the incident from happening.

“It’s not hard. Open the door a crack and look behind - I do it even when I am in the driver’s seat,” one said.

The Dutch Reach technique involves a driver opening their door with their furthest hand away from it, forcing the body and head to rotate, allowing the driver to inspect what is approaching from behind.

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