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Lawmakers push bill to make it driver's fault if bicyclist runs into car door

Some state lawmakers say it should be a car driver's fault if he or she opens a door, and a bicycle runs into it.

Right now, it's the bicyclist's responsibility to steer clear of car doors that might open.

But Madison's city attorney refused to pursue that kind of a charge last summer, when Linda Willsey broke her back when her bicycle hit the door of a parked car that had just opened.

The attorney dropped a $10 ticket for breaking a state law that requires bicyclists to ride at least 3-feet from parked or standing motor vehicles.

State Sen. Fred Risser, D-Madison, and other legislators are pushing a bill to drop the 3-foot requirement and penalize motorists who don't watch for cyclists after they park.

City Council members in Madison are pursuing a similar ordinance.