New motorists to learn how to avoid mangling bicyclists while opening doors

The Dutch Reach

The RMV reports it will add instructions on a new door-opening technique to the official new-driver manual in an attempt to reduce the number of bicyclist doorings.

The new content in the Driver’s Manual concerning the "Dutch Reach" method for drivers disembarking from vehicles explains the standard practice for opening a vehicle door in the Netherlands, a place widely considered to be a model for bicycle transportation. By reaching to open the door of a parallel-parked car, a driver is asked to open the door with his or her hand which is furthest from the door. With this technique of reaching for the handle, the driver’s body is forced to begin turning to the left, making it easier for the driver to see bicyclists who may be in the blind spot of a motorist’s mirror.

The revised manual also has advice on bicycle lanes, specifically the ones that are more than just lines painted on the pavement:

Also outlined in the updated Driver’s Manual are clear instructions for driving on roads with separated bicycle lanes, which physically separate bicycle traffic from motorized traffic, and which are distinct from painted on-road bike lanes. A key part of MassDOT’s initiative to build and advocate for more “Complete Streets,” which take into account the needs of motorists, transit users, bicyclists, pedestrians and people with disabilities, separated bicycle lanes have become more common in municipalities like Boston, Cambridge, Somerville. The new language pertaining to separated bicycle lanes stipulates that they are not intended for pedestrians, that “[at] intersections, drivers must stop at the line to allow pedestrians and bicyclists to cross safely. When turning right, drivers must yield to pedestrians and bicyclists who are crossing.” The added text also mandates that bicyclists ride in the proper direction of travel in separated bicycle lanes and must yield to pedestrians.



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    The second comment in that

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    The second comment in that article is a great example of dangerous, entitled drivers at work. They apparently think they don't have to take 2 seconds to look before opening their door because they decided to have a bunch of kids and a long commute.

    The Dutch reach is also the

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    The Dutch reach is also the longest running sex show in Amsterdam. 27 years later there has not been one bicyclist injured.

    Now all we need

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    Is a safety course for cyclist to stop blowing through red lights almost taking out pedestrians.

    Key word: Almost

    How many people killed last year after being hit by a car?

    How many people killed last year after being hit by a bike?

    You're complaining about the wrong vehicle, buddy.

    That's Nice Dear

    Except your ilk can't tell a red light from a green light, or so it would seem from the idiots who scream something about "red lights" at me when I am proceeding on a GREEN light on my bike.

    If you don't know what jaywalking is, how you do not have the right of way when you jaywalk, and why YOU are endangering yourself and cyclists while doing it, all the blather about red lights ain't gonna help you. Keep your ass on the curb when the red hand is up and you might find that your "I almost hit a cyclist" problems improve.

    It's not a pejorative

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    It's how you talk to your four-year-old when he comes to you and wants a hug, and you're trying to explain to him that he has to wash the Fudgsicle off his hands before he can touch anything.

    Or, in this case, it's the tone you take when an especially dimwitted anonymous poster shows up with an especially obnoxious non-sequitur about bikers running red lights, in a thread about the threat that car doors pose to bicyclists.


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    You might want to re-check the recent news. Those pedestrians that were recently hit in the city were hit by cars. And this is increasing, unfortunately, not just in Boston but country wide.

    Which is going to happen when

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    Which is going to happen when you put more and more bicyclists into contact with cars via bike lanes (which give a false sense of security).


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    Like putting on your seatbelt, maybe this will be one of those things the newer generations just do inherently out of practice. That said, the "Dutch reach" sounds like a type of sex maneuver.

    I'm gonna tell my sons

    ... to open driver doors with their right hand and drive smart as the road is not too wide.

    Actually, my sons just got their permits and they know this trick already - good to see the RMV reinforcing it, though!

    Not Mandatory

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    Just remember, cyclists and automobilists, that bike lane use by cyclists is not mandatory and that you are still allowed full use of the roadway.

    Good reminder!!

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    Bike lanes are not always safer than the regular travel lane. Columbus Ave bike lane, for example runs too close to sloppily parked cars and is full of potholes and messed up pavement. I only use it to slowly pass cars stopped at a red light.

    From the article

    More than 500 New York City residents are injured badly enough to be treated in hospitals after being struck by bicyclists each year ... there are nearly 10,000 people who visit the hospital citywide each year after being struck by cars [in NYC], so this [bike injuries] is actually a pretty low number

    No one is claiming bikes can't hurt people when ridden recklessly but it's not in the same league as cars. It's as if an obese chainsmoker suddenly becomes concerned about possible sickness after hearing about a salmonella outbreak at a local chain restaurant.

    Never made that claim

    I said the rate on injury is so low as to not be a major concern. Anyone riding recklessly is a threat. But a 175lb object moving at 12mph is going to cause a lot less damage then an 2000lb object moving at 40mph. Basic physics.

    Relative risk

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    500 versus 10,000

    Also? Bad drivers kill.

    You didn't say how many of those cycling injuries were the fault of the pedestrians, either. You are legally at fault if you jaywalk into the path of a legally operating cyclist.

    Actually, on a recent jury

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    Actually, on a recent jury duty I have learned that this is not true. All the rules about right of way in crosswalks etc regard citations - i.e. tickets. That is independent from being at fault for a collision. A pedestrian can only be at fault if they leave a place of safety in such a way that it is impossible for the driver to stop. That is the only instance in which the driver is not at fault. So if you hit a pedestrian walking down the middle of the road which you could see and avoid, that is your fault. Does not matter where the crosswalks are. They might get a $300 citation (as well they should). You (or more accurately your insurance company) will get a $30k one in the civil jury trial.

    OK, I've found my new M.O.

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    I'm going to pick a topic, and put the biggest goddamn chip you've ever seen on my shoulder about it. Then I'm going to set up a Google alert, keyed to a couple of related keywords about the subject, and pop into every thread that triggers it, where I'm going to loudly complain about my completely unmoored pet peeve, despite it having no relevance to the actual topic at hand. I'll make sure to hammer incessantly on it, derailing actual conversation about mayoral politics, because clearly my own quixotic agenda is more important than what the conversation is ostensibly about. Sound good?

    OK, my inaugural (heh) subject is going to be Ray Flynn, who I've decided is an insidious member of the Bavarian Illuminati and wants to harvest our kidneys for his black-market organ exchange. I'll meet you guys in every thread that mentions the word "mayor" from here on out, where I'll copy and paste thousands of words of bizarre non-sequiturs and angry accusations of malfeasance by Marty Walsh, because we're talking about mayors, aren't we?

    Mine eyes have been opened to a whole new means of argumentation, bike-on-pedestrian-accident-obsessed denizens of UHub. Together we shall oversee a brave new world of strawmen.


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    Who told you about Flynn?

    You might want to have someone else start your car/bicycle for a while. Just sayin'


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    You're actually citing an article from 2011 as an argument that bicycles are a threat?


    Reflecting on my own past

    Reflecting on my own past behavior, at least the majority of the time when I have to do parking is scanning my memory if bikes were coming down the way, check blind spot, scan down the mirror for both cars and bikes, and then finally open the door.

    My memory says I already use my right hand to open as I'm right-handed even if my left hand is closer. But I don't think that's the important part anyways. Scan before you open is important part regards of what hand one use. There's other reasons that even asshole drivers want to check before opening anyways - do you want a car to rip your door off? Or get run over after stepping out by a car too close? Either one requires to check before opening.

    I do want to also mention - while I fear this may backfire saying this - chill back on the assumption of malice everyone. Most people and thus most incidents are not by malice. Bad habits aside that anyone should strive to improve on any mode, that most are not trying to hurt each other. I think it would help a lot if we stop reading posts as hostile personal attacks to one biking or driving skills.

    Bicycles aside....

    ... using the driver's right hand to open the door is safer for the driver, too: in the event a car hits the opening door while your hand is still on the handle, the impact is slightly more likely to spin you back into the car rather than yank you out onto the pavement.

    Kim Jong Un

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    In North Korea they tell those fortunate enough to own a vehicle how to open their car doors.

    When I went to get my motorcycle license

    When last at the DMV I was seated in a room with a bunch of computer terminals that administered the trivial written driver's test. I watched in horror as kids and adults had trouble with the easy questions and would help each other with the answers. No DMV employee was around to monitor or care. Complete joke.

    I have no doubt that this

    I have no doubt that this will be exactly as effective as the portions of the new-driver manual about yielding to pedestrians in crosswalks and coming to a full stop before turning right on red.


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    I think the manual also states that you actually have to stop at a stop sign.

    The RMV reports it will add

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    The RMV reports it will add instructions on a new door-opening technique to the official new-driver manual in an attempt to reduce the number of bicyclist doorings.

    "will add"?

    It already is in the manual.