The Dutch Reach And Why MassDOT Wants Drivers To Use It

BOSTON (CBS) – MassDOT wants you to change the way you get out of your car so it’s safer for those riding bicycles.

The agency has updated the driver’s manual in Massachusetts to include a method developed in the Netherlands called the “Dutch Reach.”

That’s where drivers reach across their bodies and open the door with their right hand.

According to a MassDOT promotional video, “This simple movement forces the driver to turn to the left, scanning the side view mirror and looking behind the vehicle.”

That way a driver can see if the car door could hit a passing cyclist.

Richard Fries of MassBike is glad the state is including this in the manual.

“They were really receptive, really flexible. They were able to turn on a dime to make these changes,” he told WBZ NewsRadio 1030.

But he admits it’ll take awhile for people to get used to it.

“It will start to percolate down when teenagers get their driver’s test, when people are studying and they read the manual and driver’s education takes hold of it,” Fries said.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

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