Emergency Essentials/BePrepared

CAA urges motorists to practice what's called the Dutch Reach

The technique is simple.

Instead of using the left hand the drive used the right hand and reaches across their body to open the door.

This forces them to turn their head to see if a cyclist is coming.
In fact, in Holland, the Dutch Reach is part of driver examinations.

The CAA’s Teresa Di Felice called it a “simple lifesaving technique (and) a powerful tool that gives motorists choice…to reduce the car-bike conflict.”

The CAA has been working with cycling groups over the past decade on several campaigns, including ones instructing cyclists to “stay back” when coming upon large vehicles like trucks at intersections and not being in their blind spots.

Drivers can see a video about the Dutch Reach on YouTube and can also be viewed on CAA and the organization’s Share the Road channels. 

Di Felice said that while cycling organizations say dooring is a major cause of accidents statistics are few and far between.

“One of the biggest challenges with respect to dooring collisions is that it is not actually on a collision reporting form,” she said.

But the fact the province raised the fine for dooring to $365 and three demerit points in 2016 is indication that this is “an issue.”

Toronto police reported that the number of dooring collisions increased year over year in both 2015 and 2016 and was up 58 per cent in 2016 from a 2014 baseline.


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