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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 joined as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.

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