If someone was to say ‘love, don’t forget to use the Dutch Reach’ what would you immediately think of? IAMRoadsmart surveyed 10,000 motorists, and found that 85% of those asked had no idea what a Dutch Reach was, instead perhaps wondering why they were being offered something so lewd. But it’s in the Highway Code!
Under new rules in the updated Highway Code, the Dutch Reach is a law primarily aimed at protecting cyclists, but will also ensure drivers are able to spot vulnerable road users as they drivers open their door to get out of the car.
The Dutch Reach method is simply using your furthest hand to open the car door as you exit, naturally making your body turn towards the door and increase your chances of spotting an approaching person/motorcycle/cycle.
Despite being termed as an aide to cyclists, this newly introduced law will also benefit motorcyclists and scooterists who are filtering past – and now recognised as vulnerable road users in the newly updated hierarchy of the road rules.
Don’t forget your Dutch Reach – it’s in the Highway Code!
Implemented under Rule 239 of the ‘Waiting and Parking’ chapter, the new rule will read:
“You should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you are opening, e.g. use your left hand to open a door on your right-hand side.
“This will make you turn your head to look over your shoulder. You are then more likely to avoid causing injury to cyclists or motorcyclists passing you on the road, or to people on the pavement.”
Keep this in mind next time you’re out on your bike, chances are the driver won’t be aware of the new rule – but it’s going to be taught to new learners. Plus, it makes a lot of sense and will become a natural habit (if it isn’t already).