Motorists who open their car’s door with the wrong hand will risk being fined up to £1,000.
Under the new High Code’s updates – coming into force from Saturday – motorists are forced to use the ‘Dutch Reach’ manoeuvre, which requires drivers and passengers to get out of their cars using the hand “on the opposite side to the door they are opening.”
By using the Dutch Reach, motorists will be forced to turn their body and look over their shoulders to check for cyclists or pedestrians behind them, the Evening Standard reported.
The Dutch Reach was introduced in the code’s updates after groups such as Cycling UK reported that up to 500 cyclists are injured every year because drivers’ behaviours.
Other changes in the code include a hierarchy of road users, in which drivers will need to look out for cyclists while people cycling and on motorbikes will need to pay greater attention to pedestrian and those riding horses, City A.M. reported.
But according to a poll by the AA, before Christmas two thirds of motorists didn’t know changes were under way.
“These changes have legal implications. Just as we saw with the introduction of other road safety measures like mandatory seat belts and stricter drink driving laws, the public needs to be accurately informed about the new rules,” said Duncan Dollimore, Cycling UK’s head of campaigns.