HAMPSHIRE, Mass. (WWLP) – The Registry of Motor vehicles has listed new safety guidelines in this year’s driver’s manual. You won’t get a traffic ticket for not following these guidelines.
They’re strategies to promote safety between bicyclists and drivers. Between 2009 and 2012, Boston police responded to more than 200 bicycle collisions, where drivers accidentally opened their doors as a bike was riding by.
The Massachusetts RMV listed new safety guidelines in this year’s driver’s manual to prevent these accidents, and promote road safety.
A new section teaches drivers the “Dutch Reach”, a maneuver to safely open your door when you’re parallel parked.
The Dutch Reach asks you to do 3 things. First, check your review mirror. Second, check your side mirror. And last, instead of using your hand closest to the door to open it, use the hand furthest away.
This way, you’re forced to turn your body and see directly who is behind you. It makes it easier to see someone in your blind spot.
Bikes are really vulnerable whizzing down. They don’t have options and aren’t allowed to be on the sidewalks, so I think it’s a great idea,” Denise Elliot from Northampton told 22News.
It may be a hard habit to develop for seasoned drivers.
“I think that it’s going to work really well with maybe new drivers, if they start teaching it now. Then, they’ll get used to doing that right from the start,” Janelle Rivers told 22News.
The manual also outlines how to drive on roads with separate bike lanes. When turning right, drivers need to yield to any bike that’s coming. These lanes are not for pedestrians.