New Highway Code rule could see drivers fined £1,000 for opening door wrong

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The new Highway Code rules will come into place later this month and some changes are there to protect cyclists.

Drivers and passengers have been warned to be wary of the regulations as they could be fined a lot of money.

Now instead of blindly opening a door, the "Dutch Reach" requires you to use the hand furthest the door to let yourself out.

So if you're behind the wheel, you'd use your left hand, while the passenger next to them use their other hand.

Opening the door with the hand furthest away prompts the driver to turn their body to look over their shoulder.

The over-the-shoulder look as you reach for your door handle is a vital part of the method, reports DevonLive.

By doing this, they will get sight of any cyclists or pedestrians passing by their car that they might have missed.

The new rule will say: "Where you are able to do so, you should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you are opening; for example, use your left hand to open a door on your right-hand side.

"This will make you turn your head to look over your shoulder. You are then more likely to avoid causing injury to cyclists or motor cyclists passing you on the road, or to people on the pavement."

If you injure someone by opening your car, you could receive a fine of up to £1,000, but no penalty points.

Extensive campaigning on the "Dutch Reach" by Cycling UK has been key to the implementation of the new advice.

Cycling UK estimate that over 500 people in the UK are injured annually by motorists opening a car door into someone's cycle path.

This technique is borrowed from the Netherlands, where it has always been used as standard for exiting a vehicle – hence the name, "Dutch Reach".

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