Montreal police opt not to ticket driver after cyclist doored downtown

A messenger says his bike was totalled after a woman suddenly opened her car door as he approached. But Montreal police opted not to issue a ticket under the recently updated Highway Safety Code.

Quebec introduced stiffer fines for dooring. But are police handing out tickets?

Quebec introduced stiffer fines against dooring this summer. (Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press)

A messenger whose bike was totalled after a woman suddenly opened her car door says he's upset Montreal police chose not to issue a ticket.

That's despite stiffer rules recently introduced under Quebec's Highway Safety Code aimed at cracking down on dooring — the common way to describe when someone opens the door of a stopped vehicle without shoulder-checking and hits a passing cyclist.

Félix-Antoine Tessier says he had just finished his shift and was biking along Aylmer Street near Ste-Catherine Street in downtown Montreal last Friday, when a car door "just flew open and I crashed into it."

"My body is fine but the bike is totalled," he told CBC Montreal's Daybreak.

"The lady that was there just started yelling at me because of the damages to the door."

Tessier said the woman called him an "idiot for not watching where I was going, when she's the one not looking into the mirror before opening the door."

At that point, Tessier called police, he said. After speaking with both of them, officers decided not to issue a ticket, he said,

"When the officers came to talk to me, they insisted on the fact that I had to go to small claims court and they were not going to give a ticket," he said.

Félix-Antoine Tessier says his bike was damaged but he luckily wasn't hurt in a dooring incident last Friday. (CBC)
The officers also explained to the woman that she should be more careful when opening her door, he said.

Quebec dramatically increased fines for dooring this summer as part of changes to the Highway Safety Code. 

The infraction now costs drivers between $200 and $300, up from $30.

'I'm not a dangerous guy'

Tessier said he was close to the car when she opened the door because Aylmer is a narrow street, but wasn't going fast.

We're disappointed to hear that such behaviours are still not treated as seriously as they should be by police.- Magali Bebronne, Vélo Québec 

"I was finishing my shift so I had no incentive to go at high speed," he said.

"When I'm not on the clock I'm not a dangerous guy."

He said he had no choice but to ram into the door, or he would have had to swerve into traffic.

Montreal police said they wouldn't comment on the case, but would provide more details on its attempts to crack down on dooring in the coming days.

Magali Bebronne of Vélo Québec said she was troubled by the police's inaction.

"We're disappointed to hear that such behaviours are still not treated as seriously as they should be by police," she said,

"We feel that these behaviours should be ticketed as the law assigns it."

with files from CBC Montreal's Daybreak


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