Thanks to my social media network for bringing this idea to my attention on Facebook which is now one step closer to being a public policy in Manitoba. Thanks to my colleagues at public works committee today who endorsed my motion to direct public works to write a letter to Manitoba Public insurance asking them to consider the Dutch reach as part of driver education today.
In a nutshell, the typical behavior in Winnipeg is to open our driver door with the left hand, and the result is that we don’t check to see if a cyclist might be coming. In cycling language, this is when a cyclist gets doored which is very dangerous because the cyclist can be injured by the door, or worse fall into the street where they can be struck and injured or killed by a motor vehicle. The Dutch reach is taught in driving courses in the Netherlands and has now become the cultural norm there. All you have to do is train yourself to open your car door with your right hand when you are in the driver's seat, and that makes you automatically look over towards your rear view mirror to see if a cyclist is coming.
I’m convinced that the Dutch reach will save lives if we adopt it in Winnipeg, please take a minute to learn the concept, video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzIf80eSfCg