Motor vehicle doors; requires drivers and passengers to wait for reasonable opportunity to open. (SB736)

Introduced By

Sen. Chap Petersen (D-Fairfax) with support from co-patron Sen. Scott Surovell (D-Mount Vernon)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Opening and closing motor vehicle doors. Requires drivers and passengers to wait for a reasonable opportunity to open vehicle doors on the side adjacent to moving traffic. The bill also requires that in this case vehicle doors only be left open as long as necessary. A violation constitutes a traffic infraction punishable by a fine of not more than $100. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/12/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13100546D
12/12/2012Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/16/2013Reported from Transportation with amendment (8-Y 5-N) (see vote tally)
01/18/2013Constitutional reading dispensed (38-Y 0-N) (see vote tally)
01/21/2013Read second time
01/21/2013Reading of amendment waived
01/21/2013Committee amendment agreed to
01/21/2013Engrossed by Senate as amended SB736E
01/21/2013Printed as engrossed 13100546D-E
01/22/2013Read third time and passed Senate (23-Y 17-N) (see vote tally)
01/25/2013Placed on Calendar
01/25/2013Read first time
01/25/2013Referred to Committee on Transportation
01/29/2013Impact statement from DPB (SB736E)
02/01/2013Assigned Transportation sub: #2
02/06/2013Subcommittee recommends reporting (4-Y 2-N)
02/12/2013Failed to report (defeated) in Transportation (7-Y 7-N) (see vote tally)


This bill was discussed on the floor of the General Assembly. Below is all of the video that we have of that discussion, 1 clip in all, totaling 7 minutes.


Jay Lucas writes:

Last summer I was riding my bicycle on a shared road, with a marked bicycle path beside a row of parked cars. An elderly driver of one of the parked cars suddenly opened her car door in the middle of a string of passing bicycles. She was small, no higher than the top of the built in neck restraint on her seat, so I did not see that the car had an occupant. I was the unlucky bicyclist that first hit her open car door. I flipped over the bicycle, bounced off the door. My bike was ruined, and I was in pain for weeks.

This bill may not cure situations like mine, but it will make it clear that greater caution should be exercised when opening car doors to avoid accidents.

I support this bill.

Wayne Wilcox writes:

I was doored on a downtown street while in college. The resulting hospital stay wiped out my savings. (Temporarily uninsured but never since then!) This bill, if it had been law, would have allowed police, courts and insurance (if I'd had it) to allocate responsibility to the motorist.