Cycling UK and Uber announce new Dutch Reach campaign to improve safety for cyclists

Cycling UK and Uber have announced a new Dutch Reach campaign to improve safety for cyclists on public roads across the UK.

Every year, hundreds of cyclists across England, Wales and Scotland are injured when someone opens a car door in their path, but the actual figure is much higher as many collisions aren’t reported.

The Dutch Reach is a simple technique that ensures you always look over your shoulder to avoid opening doors into the path of cyclists. 

The idea of the manoeuvre is to open the door with your hand furthest from the door, forcing you to turn your body and check over your shoulder for cyclists and other road users. The technique is taught and used in many other countries, but a recent poll showed that only 12% of the general UK population was aware of the Dutch Reach, with those surveyed admitting they thought it was a type of a Dutch beer (22%), a handshake (19%) or a yoga pose (15%). Using a hard-hitting virtual reality film, the campaign aims to educate drivers and people in cars in how to use the Dutch Reach. The film, produced by Cycling UK in partnership with Uber, highlights the dangers of car-dooring and how to do the Dutch Reach utilising innovative 3D virtual reality technology. It can be viewed at Filmed from the perspective of a passenger in a car, it shows a collision caused by a driver opening their door, and how it could have been avoided using the Dutch Reach. It will be shared with the millions of people who use the Uber app in the UK, including more than 5 million passengers and 60,000 licensed drivers. 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. Using publicly available mapping data these alerts will be sent to all users in London when their upcoming drop-off is near a cycle lane or along a share cycle route. This comes as polling shows that almost half (44%) of cyclists admit they don’t feel safe cycling on public roads, with badly marked or insufficient cycling lanes (51%), car-dooring (41%) and a lack of awareness from other road users (66%) among the top concerns. 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 percent 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.” 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.” 

Video: Source; YouTube

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