According to the campaign group, careless opening of car doors is causing injury and death
Cycling UK say more needs to be done in the UK to help raise awareness of ‘car-dooring’.
According to the campaign group, careless opening of car doors by motorists is causing injury or death to cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians which could be reduced if people were made more aware of the dangers.
The DfT are considering introducing new messages as part of their Think! campaign to push cycle safety, whilst the campaign group are urging the Government to consider including the ‘Dutch reach’ as part of the UK driving test.
The ‘Dutch reach’ involves the driver/passenger opening the door with the ‘wrong’ hand, which encourages them to look backwards to see if it’s safe enough to open their car door and in Holland this simple move is a mandatory part of their driving test.
According to Government figures from 2011 to 2015, eight people died as a result of car doors being opened without the driver/passenger checking to see if it’s safe to do so – five of these were cyclists who were knocked off their bicycle, whilst three had been travelling in a car.
A grand total of 3,108 people were reported as being hurt due to ‘car-dooring’, however Cycling UK think the correct figure could be much higher.
Cycling UK are asking for a campaign to be introduced with information aimed at cyclists, motorcyclist and pedestrians, warning them to look out for swinging car doors and to encourage cyclists to ride further into the carriageway.
They would also like higher fines introduced for those caught carelessly opening their car door.
Cambridgeshire Police think including the ‘Dutch reach’ as part of the UK driving test is a great idea.
“This simple step seems like a good way of checking that a cyclist is not approaching and reducing the risk of ‘dooring’, particularly in a congested city,” said Crime Commissioner Jason Ablewhite.
The following video shows how the Dutch reach works, which could help reduce injuries and save lives:
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