PC MLA Pat Dunn is calling on the McNeil Liberals to pass a common-sense bill that would require new drivers to learn the “Dutch Reach.”
The “Dutch Reach” is a simple practice that requires drivers and passengers of a vehicle to open the door with the hand furthest from the door handle.
Today in the Legislature, Dunn introduced a bill that would include the “Dutch Reach” in the Nova Scotia Driver’s Handbook.
“There are enormous benefits of adding this to the curriculum,” says Dunn, who taught drivers education for 12 years. “This common-sense change would encourage drivers to turn their bodies toward the door. That makes it more likely that incoming cyclists would be spotted.”
Sebastian Copp, a Dalhousie Medical Student and vice-president of the Dalhousie Bike Society welcomes the bill.
“I’ve been commuting by bicycle in the city for over 10 years now,” says Copp. “Halifax doesn’t have protected bike lanes or generally many bike lanes at all. It is a real threat that you could be biking down the street and get ‘doored’. When you add narrow roads, parked cars and traffic, additional safety measures are definitely needed”.
Dunn says the “Dutch Reach” is an easy safety measure to implement and encourages Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, Lloyd Hines to make cyclist safety a priority.
“This government has the opportunity to strengthen cyclist safety,” says Dunn. “It’s a simple habit that we can incorporate into the handbook that could decrease accidents.”
The Bill can be found on the Nova Scotia Legislature website.