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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Belgium. Draft act on the introduction of the so-called Dutch way of opening the car door

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In the lower house of the Belgian Parliament, the Flemish Social Democrats (Vooruit) have tabled a bill to make the so-called Dutch way of opening car doors compulsory. This is to reduce the number of accidents involving cyclists who end up in hospitals as a result of the sudden opening of the car door.

According to the Belgian road safety institute Vias, around 300 cyclists are admitted to hospitals every year as a result of the sudden opening of a car door. Last Thursday, a cyclist injured in this way was taken to a hospital in Ghent in a critical condition, according to the daily “Het Nieuwsblad”.

The Dutch way of opening a door

From the beginning of 2022, an obligation called “Dutch reach” or “Dutch door opening” was introduced in the UK. It consists in the fact that the car door is opened by the hand that is farthest from the door, which forces the driver to look over his shoulder. In this way, he can see an approaching cyclist.

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The new regulations are to prevent collisions of cyclists with opening car doorsShutterstock

Anyone who opens a car door in any other way faces a £1,000 fine. Under a bill submitted to the Belgian Parliament by Vooruit, an identical system would be mandatory for Belgian drivers. Meanwhile, as noted by the Dutch daily “Algemeen Dagblad”, the technique was not invented in the Netherlandsand its name is probably simply due to the fact that the Netherlands has an image of a bicycle-friendly country.

Also read: ihow much will we pay for the inspection of the bike? “The cost had to go up”

Main photo source: Shutterstock



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