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Video: How the 'Dutch Reach' can prevent cyclists being doored

Technique taught to learner drivers in Netherlands can save lives

Our story today about the trial of a Glasgow taxi driver who fatally injured a cyclist when he opened the door of his vehicle into the rider's path sadly illustrates one of the main hazards facing people on bikes - but across the Atlantic, there are calls to learn from the Netherlands about how to prevent such incidents happening by using one simple technique.

Illustrated in the above video from Outside Magazine, it's called the 'Dutch Reach,' and takes its name from the fact that learner drivers in the Netherlands are required to open their car door with their right hand.

The manoeuvre means that their upper body has to twist around, meaning they are looking towards the rear of the vehicle – and, therefore, towards any cyclists who may be riding in the so-called ‘door zone.’

Outside Magazine notes in its report on a campaign by a Massachusetts doctor to introduce the technique there that of 45,000 cyclists injured in the United States in 2015, one in ten were victims of a vehicle occupant opening a door as they approached.

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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