Better not have a bike accident in Quebec

Eric | May 17, 2008

imageDooring” is a popular sport in Quebec and involves sitting and waiting in your car until an innocent biker rides by and then opening the door just at the right second so to cause maximal damage to the biker and his bike, probably even at risk of damaging your own car.

Happened to me right today in Montreal. The result: I injured my knee and my bike is partially damaged. The car’s door now has a huge dent, so at least this moron gets to suffer a bit too. The “funny” thing is that Quebecers apparently like dooring so much that they have decided that it’s not necessary to provide the poor biker with any kind of compensation! Both the car driver and the police that I called made it almost look like it was my own fault to drive close to a parked car!!! How can I dare to drive not in the middle of the road but on the right-hand side? Excuuuuuse me!??

You live an learn. Turns out that in Quebec there’s a so-called no-fault insurance. “No fault” does not mean that it’s nobody’s fault to insure a poor cyclist. It does mean however that it does not matter who’s fault it is, i.e. who caused an accident with a car. The rationale behind this seems to be that everybody gets his compensation quicker: If I have an accident with another car then I will just have to deal with my insurance for compensation, the other person deals only with his insurance. Fair enough, only problem is what if you don’t have insurance? Certainly, I as a cyclist can’t be expected to get my own car insurance just for riding my bike! To my best knowledge, the province of Quebec however does expect exactly that! This is insane! On Monday I’ll go to see the McGill Legal Information Clinic. After all I really don’t see why I should be the one who has to pay for my damaged bike.