Like this site? Help us to make it better.

The Sun still hasn’t got to grips with the Dutch Reach

Doored motorcyclist who ended up in coma optimistically tried to promote door opening method via UK’s biggest-selling newspaper

Unless you write for the Sun, the Dutch Reach method of opening car doors is not a difficult one to understand.

First, a recap. When exiting a vehicle, the Dutch Reach involves opening your car door with your opposite hand. It is taught to learner drivers in the Netherlands because doing so twists your upper body so that you can’t help but look behind you as you open the door. That reduces the chances that you will door a passing cyclist. (Using your opposite hand also restricts how far the door can open.)

If that’s not a clear description, here’s a video.

It is, in short, a very simple way to not kill people. As such, Transport minister Jesse Norman recently confirmed that the government plans to revise the Highway Code to encourage the Dutch Reach, while earlier this month Transport for Greater Manchester urged people to adopt the method as part of its ‘Bike Smart’ initiative.

Meanwhile, in the Sun, they’re busy telling people that the Dutch Reach “involves motorists winding down the window and opening the door from the outside using their left hand.”

No, it doesn’t.

That description came in an article about a motorcyclist, Ryan Selby, who suffered a traumatic brain injury and fractures to his back, pelvis and arm after being doored.

Selby, quite understandably, wants to promote the method. This would probably be easier to do if people described it halfway accurately.

You could argue that it’s just an inaccuracy, but it seems a little worse than that when you consider that the newspaper’s previously branded the method ‘absurd’ and devoted an entire article to ridiculing it.

That article saw fit to quote retired agricultural specialist Frank Porter, who said: “Who are the police or council to try and change the way we have opened doors since cars were invented? Cyclists already dictate how we have to behave on the roads. This is a step too far. You won’t see me doing it, that’s for sure.”

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

Latest Comments