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


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