Doored & Still Ignored - Advocacy In Action!
Premier of Ontario
September 24, 2021
Toronto ON M7A 1A1
Dear Premier Ford,
Re: Doored & Still Ignored
Nearly 2 years ago, on December 2, 2019, I wrote to then Toronto Police Chief Mark Saunders. I highlighted a worrying trend in Toronto Police Service (TPS) officers not providing cyclists injured in crashes with motor vehicles a MVA Report and/or the necessary insurance information of the driver involved to allow them to access Statutory No Fault Accident Benefits Insurance. TPS continues this trend and fails to identify doorings as "accidents" pursuant to the MOMS Act.
On September 2, 2021. A block away from TPS headquarters, a long-term care worker/Registered Nurse in training was doored. The impact so severe they were rushed to Mount Sinai and prepped for emergency ankle surgery. The injured cycled received one phone call from TPS while in the ER, the last time they contact this crash victim.
A week later, this cyclist requires a second surgery to insert more hardware. Our nurse in training has likely sustained a lifelong injury, but more immediately, an injury that requires in-home care and support available via the Accident Benefits regime.
No contact from TPS. Our office reached out. The officer dismissively stated that our client could go in person to 40 College Street and file an FOI Request (emails attached). ***FOI requests take weeks at best***
We proactively filed an FOI request before this exchange. We have not heard back.
Our client does not have his own car insurance, he’s a cyclist. He needs to apply through the driver’s insurance.
Without this information, our client must apply to the Motor Vehicle Accident Claims Fund. Since the driver has not been identified, the Ontario Taxpayer is needlessly forced to provide support.
A victim of a motor vehicle collision, be it a dooring or failure to yield, should be equally entitled to the other party’s insurance information at the scene (Highway Traffic Act section 200).
Toronto Police rely on an outdated loophole definition of “accident” that does not classify “doorings” as motor vehicle accidents. Therefore, they refuse to provide insurance information that car crash victims are entitled to pursuant under the HTA/MOMS Act.
I wrote about this 2 years ago. On August 25, 2020, I again spoke publicly about the problem. However, I am still having to tell injured people that immediate care is unavailable to them.
TPS Superintendent of Traffic Services Scott Baptist has been a saving grace in some individual cases. More broadly, he has also advocated for change on this issue.
Premier Ford, injured cyclists would appreciate your support in directing the TPS to provide insurance information to dooring victims in compliance with Bill 282, Moving Ontarians More Safely Act, 2021 to clarify the motor vehicle “accident” definition to include doorings of cyclists. (I also note Bill 148, Doored But Not Ignored Act, 2019).
CC: MPP Stiles, Glover, & Bell, Mayor Tory, TPS, Cycle Toronto, News Media, et al.