Do You Know The ‘Dutch Reach’?

Mon 7th Feb 2022

Motorists and car passengers are being advised to do the ‘Dutch Reach’ after the new Highway Code rules were implemented last week, but what is it? 

Sadly it is not a new dance craze, but the ‘Dutch reach’ is actually a new road safety measure which could prevent serious injury or death from incidents known as ‘dooring’, put simply when a car door opens and collides with a cyclist or pedestrian.

The ‘Dutch reach’ is a method which is intended to reduce the number of ‘dooring’ incidents, by giving the driver and passenger a better view of the road environment around them. The ‘Dutch reach’ sees car occupants asked to open the car door using the opposite arm to the side they are on. So a front passenger would use their right hand to open the car door, and this slight turn in the body posture gives you a better opportunity to see any cyclists which may be passing your car.

The new Highway Code was introduced on January 29, with many of the changes intended to prioritise the safety of pedestrians, but this ‘Dutch reach’ change will impact car passengers, who could be fined £1,000 if they accidentally open the door into an oncoming cyclist.

Rule 238 of the new Highway Code states: “Where you are able to do so, you should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you are opening.

“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.”