United Kingdom – Cycling UK, a charity originally founded in 1878 as the Bicycle Touring Club and subsequently re-named the Cyclists’ Touring Club, who represent cyclists issues and the promotion of cycling, wants people to be trained to open their doors with their far hands to avoid “car-dooring” riders.
Cycling UK says that it has written to the transport minister Jesse Norman calling for all car occupants – not just drivers – to be reminded of the importance of looking before opening their door and to be taught “the Dutch Reach” method.
They believe that this method that where people open car doors with their far hand rather than the near one, could prove beneficial and prevent avoidable collisions, stating that ‘the Dutch Reach’ is Common practice in the Netherlands, has the benefit of allowing the person opening their car door to look behind while also limiting how far their door can open.”
What has that got to do with motorcyclists?
According to Cycling UK, “Figures released by the Department for Transport to Cycling UK show between 2011 and 2015 there were 3108 people were injured, eight fatally, where ‘vehicle door opened or closed negligently’ was a contributing factor in incidents attended by the police. 2009 of the casualties were people cycling, with five resulting in fatalities.”
Although the majority of injuries were cyclists, the figures obtained by Cycling UK also show that 34 motorcyclists were seriously injured and 280 slightly injured in that period in Great Britain.
In the grand scheme of statistics it is a figure that could be reduced with this method of opening a vehicle door, apart from vehicle drivers taking time to think before they act responsibly by looking out for vulnerable road users (in an ideal world of course).
Apart from Cycling UK calling for a public awareness THINK (government) style campaign aimed at all car occupants, not just drivers, to look before opening their door, Cycling UK says they “Would also like to see methods like the ‘Dutch Reach’ promoted through driver training, and changes to the law which would include an offence of ‘death or serious injury through negligently opening a car door’. The current offence of car dooring currently carries a maximum £1,000 penalty, even if someone dies or is seriously injured as a result of the incident.”
This part of Motorcycle Minds, when I was a lad, had a car door opened when cycling, thankfully with no injuries, so can relate to this as I continued onto Powered Two Wheelers and remained aware of this happening.
As Cycling UK has suggested, a public awareness campaign, “Could include advice on safer road positioning for people cycling, so as to create understanding among all road users about the importance of avoiding the ‘door zone’.”
Original Source – Cycling UK – Cycling UK calls for greater public awareness of ‘car dooring’
Video on the ‘Dutch Reach’ – as a driver in the UK in a right-hand drive car you would be reaching over with the opposite arm, but even as passenger it would be the far hand from the door handle – reaching across your body.