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Technique taught to learner drivers in Netherlands can save lives

Our story today about the trial of a Glasgow taxi driver who fatally injured a cyclist when he opened the door of his vehicle into the rider's path sadly illustrates one of the main hazards facing people on bikes - but across the Atlantic, there are calls to learn from the Netherlands about how to prevent such incidents happening by using one simple technique.

Illustrated in the above video from Outside Magazine, it's called the 'Dutch Reach,' and takes its name from the fact that learner drivers in the Netherlands are required to open their car door with their right hand.

The manoeuvre means that their upper body has to twist around, meaning they are looking towards the rear of the vehicle – and, therefore, towards any cyclists who may be riding in the so-called ‘door zone.’

Outside Magazine notes in its report on a campaign by a Massachusetts doctor to introduce the technique there that of 45,000 cyclists injured in the United States in 2015, one in ten were victims of a vehicle occupant opening a door as they approached.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.