Cycling UK and Uber launch ‘Dutch Reach’ campaign

11.49 | 25 June 2019 | | 4 comments


Cycling UK has teamed up with Uber to raise awareness of a ‘simple technique’ to ensure drivers avoid opening doors into the path of cyclists.

The ‘Dutch Reach’ manoeuvre is a method of opening a car door with the hand furthest from the handle. It forces car occupants to turn their body and check over the shoulder for cyclists and other road users.

The Dutch Reach is taught and used in many other countries, but a recent Cycling UK poll suggests that in the UK only 12% of people are aware of the technique, with those surveyed admitting they thought it was a type of a Dutch beer (22%), a handshake (19%) or a yoga pose (15%).

Cycling UK says hundreds of cyclists across England, Wales and Scotland are injured each year when someone opens a car door in their path – although the actual figure is ‘much higher’ as many collisions aren’t reported.

Using ‘hard-hitting’ virtual reality
The campaign uses a virtual reality video, filmed from the perspective of a passenger, showing a collision caused by a driver opening their door – and how it could have been avoided using the Dutch Reach.

The video will be shared with more than five million passengers and 60,000 licensed drivers who use the Uber app in the UK.

Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK, said: “We know 60 cyclists are killed or seriously injured across Britain every year by car dooring incidents.  

“We also know from a survey that 40% of people say they are put off from cycling because of the fear of car dooring, so it’s of vital importance to educate anyone who uses a car to check before opening their door.

“The Dutch Reach is such a simple technique, that if everyone learned it from a young age, it could make a real difference to safety on our roads.”

Uber is also launching a new cycle alert feature in London to inform passengers to look over their shoulder for cyclists before opening their door.

Fred Jones, head of new mobility at Uber, said: “Using a simple Dutch Reach technique can save lives and we’re proud to be working with Cycling UK to make this a habit. 

“Together, we can combine education and technology to increase road safety awareness amongst the millions of people who use the Uber app across the UK.”

Continuing a fledgling partnership
Earlier this month, it was announced that Cycling UK has teamed up with Uber Eats to provide the app’s riders and couriers with road safety education.

As part of Bike Week 2019, Cycling UK produced a series of ‘digestible and engaging’ education guides and training films which have been shared with thousands of couriers delivering food purchased via the Uber Eats app.

The five videos include information on road positioning, how to approach junctions, signalling and awareness of other road users. There are also tips on how to maintain a bike.

The guides aim to educate cyclists with little or no mechanical experience on how to prepare their bike to help them ride safely, and fix basic problems they may encounter when cycling.

While watching the videos and reading the guides won’t be compulsory, all Uber Eats couriers will be strongly encouraged to review the materials as part of their ‘ongoing safety education’.


 

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    In the early 80s when I trained as an ADI I was taught the Dutch Reach by my Australian tutor.
    The comments about the story both miss the point about dooring a cyclist and the Dutch Reach concept.

    Cyclists certainly where I worked were taught to check parked vehicles for occupants who might open doors, i.e. those on the road side of the vehicle, and if possible ride about a doors width away from the vehicle side. This would not necessarily be the 1.5 metres and put them in the middle of the road but at a sensible “taking the lane” position.

    Rule 239 of the current Highway code states “you MUST ensure you do not hit anyone when you open your door. Check for cyclists or other traffic.”

    The “anyone” includes pedestrians and they can be either children or elderly pedestrians so passengers should be shown the technique.


    Peter Wilson, Chichester
    Agree (5) | Disagree (0)
    +5

    Of course, this doesn’t account for the additional potential danger of vehicles parked on the opposite side of the road in two-way traffic, where the driver’s position is against the kerb and, when pulling out, very often – because of parked vehicles in front – can not see whether or not it is safe to pull out until some of his or her vehicle is into the traffic stream. Obviously a contradiction in terms. Thanks to one of the new criteria in the standard driving test this sort of action is likely to be even more common, even though in the HC parking on the opposite side of the road in 2 way traffic is a DO NOT and generally illegal at night time. Please do not try and convince me from now on that the DVSA is primarily concerned with safety.


    Nigel Albright
    Agree (3) | Disagree (0)
    +3

    Keith – because the width of a parked car plus a 1.5m allowance would put the cyclist around the centreline of the road with obvious other dangers and this is not “keeping left”. This issue is not just about cyclists anyway, there are hazards of other cars having to swerve out the way.

    I like the idea of the handle technique. It just makes people think, and thinking leads to better decisions.


    Peter, liverpool
    Agree (6) | Disagree (3)
    +3

    The Dutch Reach method can only encourage a driver or any other occupant to check their shoulder for cyclists.

    The act of actually scanning and looking for a cyclists is not directly linked to the act of using the hand furthest from the door handle to open the door.

    It may encourage and facilitate the easier checking for cyclists and the like but will not force you to check.

    I have sympathy for cyclists if they are hit due to their increased vulnerability.

    However, why are cyclists not leaving the same 1.5 m clearance for car doors as cars have to for cyclists in order to avoid conflict.


    Keith
    Agree (8) | Disagree (3)
    +5