Under the new Highway Code updates, drivers and passengers are being urged to use the ‘Dutch Reach’ when opening car doors from the inside.
Made famous by police in the cycle-friendly Netherlands, the Reach requires drivers to open their car doors with their left hand (passengers with their right) when exiting a vehicle.
By doing this it forces them to look over their shoulders for approaching cyclists, who might otherwise crash into an opening car door.
A GOV.UK website page reads: “The code recommends a new technique when leaving vehicles. It’s something called the ‘Dutch Reach’.
Where people driving or passengers in a vehicle are able to do so, they should open the door using their hand on the opposite side to the door they are opening. For example, using their left hand to open a door on their right-hand side.
This will make them turn their head to look over their shoulder behind them.”
The Government claims that this will make car occupants “less likely to cause injury” to people cycling or riding a motorcycle passing on the road, or people on the pavement.
A number of new updates have been made to the Highway Code, including a hierarchy of road users. This means cyclists are given new priorities over drivers, such as the right to pass a turning car and to ride in the middle of a lane rather than at the side or in a cycle lane/path.
Drivers using EV chargers have also seen new guidance as the code now directs them to park as close to the charge point as possible to avoid creating a trip hazard. They’ve also been told to always return cables neatly to where they came from and to display a warning sign if possible.