It might be par for the course in the Netherlands, but the Dutch Reach has now made its way to the US. In August this year, Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law legislation that adds the Dutch Reach strategy to Illinois’ Rules of the Road manual.
The Dutch Reach is a technique taught to school children in the Netherlands that encourages drivers to use their inside hand (i.e. the hand furthest away from the vehicle door) to reach for the door handle. This simple technique encourages you to look over your shoulder (or at least in the wing mirror), making it more likely you will spot an approaching cyclist.
Kyle Whitehead, spokesperson for the Chicago-based Active Transport Alliance said: “There is a lot of work to do to make our streets safer for everyone, but we definitely think this is a step in the right direction.”
He continued by explaining that even though data on how effective this technique is in improving bike road safety is hard to measure, common sense suggests it will work.
Perhaps it’s time more countries adopted the Dutch Reach technique?