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State begins tracking ‘dooring’ crashes involving cyclists

Gov. Pat Quinn on Monday announced the state will begin tracking “dooring” crashes — accidents involving bicyclists struck by opened doors from parked cars.

The change will help determine locations where road improvements and public outreach efforts may be necessary to protect cyclists, a release from the Active Transportation Alliance said.

The new policy is the result of a collaboration between the Illinois Dept. of Transportation and the Active Transportaiton Alliance. Before the change, dooring collisisons went unrecognized in IDOT’s annual reporting of traffic statistics because a moving vehicle was not involved.

The data will be used to plan for improved roadway designs and additional communication with motorists in areas with high concentrations of cyclists, the release said.

IDOT’s Division of Traffic Safety is also reaching out to law enforcement agencies with instructions on how to begin recording dooring crashes.

Police departments that have already begun tracking them, including Chicago, will have their data included in the state’s statistics retroactive to May 2010.

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