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Police: Drivers urged to use ‘Dutch Reach’ to open car doors to protect cyclists

“The Dutch Reach is a method of opening your car door using the hand furthest from it, forcing you to look behind at the same time.”

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Nottinghamshire Police is reminding motorists and cyclists to take care on the roads, as people begin to go back to work and following the Government announcement to avoid public transport where possible.

Cycling has become increasingly popular during the lockdown and as people begin to travel back to work by car and cycling and Nottinghamshire Police is keen to ensure that people are safe cycling on the road.

Roads police Sergeant Paul Luckett said: “As people return to work there has been an increase in the number of vehicles on the roads and cyclists need to ensure that they are alert and aware of their surroundings when out and about, whether you’re travelling to work or cycling for leisure.

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“I am reminding drivers to also be aware of cyclists who may be riding on the road, and ensure that firstly, you cyclists room to ride and if you’re overtaking give them a wide berth, at least one and a half metres minimum. Secondly, take extra time to look out for cyclists at junctions and look out for cyclists before getting out of your car and use the Dutch Reach method.

“The Dutch Reach is a method of opening your car door using the hand furthest from it, forcing you to look behind at the same time.”

Sgt Luckett is also advising cyclists to take care on the roads. He said: “You should plan your journey before you set off, make sure you are visible to motorists and wear a helmet. Avoid undertaking vehicles when there is a road approaching to the left and lorries often pull out to the right before turning left so wait until the lorry has completed their manoeuvre before continuing your journey.

“I also advise riding a door’s width from parked cars, ride central on narrow roads and always stop at red lights, using hand signals to indicate which way you are turning and please cross tramlines and level crossings safely.”

“If you’re a cyclist or driver and you witness poor driving and you have footage from either your helmet camera or dash-cam and would like to report it, we are currently running Operation Captured, where members of the public can upload video and photographic evidence to Nottinghamshire Police and this is submitted via our website.”

Cyclists are also advised to ensure that their bike is secure if leaving it in a public place.

Sgt Luckett added: “Poorly secured bikes are an easy target for thieves and it takes just a few seconds for the opportunist thief to steal a bike that is left unsecured. If you can, get you bike insured and mark your bike using a visible marking product so if the unfortunate happens, you are covered and you will be able to identify your bike should it be recovered. ”

Secure cycle lockers are available in Nottingham at these places: • Trinity Square car park• Fletcher Gate car park• Victoria Shopping Centre• Phoenix Park and Rise, Nuthall Road• Nottingham Railway Station

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