HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

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The utility cyclist
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HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby The utility cyclist » 18 Oct 2018, 5:44am

Yet more weak policy because as per everything else without enforcement and penalty it's meaningless, I thought over the shoulder check before exiting a motor-vehicle was already a thing :? Could have made bigger and far more effective changes but same old. https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/201 ... t-cyclists

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honesty
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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby honesty » 18 Oct 2018, 9:02am

Its not a change in the law. It's a change to the new version of the highway code to highlight this as a way to meet the requirement to be careful when exiting a vehicle. There is no weak policy because there is no change what so ever. Its a recommendation in the HC, the government are literally doing nothing to the laws. I mean the Dutch reach is good and all, but this is meaningless in the grand scheme of things.

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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby pwa » 18 Oct 2018, 9:42am

It is a good idea and should be welcomed.

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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby 661-Pete » 18 Oct 2018, 9:52am

It all helps I suppose, but is it enough? Remember we're often talking about car passengers here - are they under any obligation to have actually read the HC?

And also remember, some car occupants are not as agile as others - and many have bad backs. Forcing them to twist around in the seat may not be the best option. There are always mirrors to look into - use them!

Cycling - when I can, I simply avoid the door zone by giving parked vehicles a wide berth. But that's not always possible on a busy road, so I have to keep an eye open for occupied stationary cars, and my hands on the brakes. The practice of tinting car windows is not a great help!

What would be a useful feature (I dreamt this up some time ago), would be, if a car were made to flash its hazards, whenever a seat is occupied with the engine not running. Seeing as most modern cars have pressure-sensors in their seats anyway, so that they can warn about non-wearing of seat belts, this feature ought to be easy to implement: just a software change in the computer that's resident in any present-day vehicle.

If such a design change were implemented, it would remain for any older vehicle without this feature, to be required to display a warning triangle sticker in the corner of the rear windscreen. Then cyclists have some chance...
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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby mjr » 18 Oct 2018, 10:56am

661-Pete wrote:Cycling - when I can, I simply avoid the door zone by giving parked vehicles a wide berth. But that's not always possible on a busy road, [...]

I'm sure we've had this discussion before, but I can't find it quickly. I believe it's always possible to ride wide of parked cars, but sometimes people choose to play car door roulette in order to make faster progress - it's a choice.
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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby Cugel » 18 Oct 2018, 11:58am

mjr wrote:
661-Pete wrote:Cycling - when I can, I simply avoid the door zone by giving parked vehicles a wide berth. But that's not always possible on a busy road, [...]

I'm sure we've had this discussion before, but I can't find it quickly. I believe it's always possible to ride wide of parked cars, but sometimes people choose to play car door roulette in order to make faster progress - it's a choice.


Agreed - I spend a lot of time and effort trying to get club mates or other cycling companions to be aware of car door danger and to give them a 2M wide berth. Many don't or won't. The "reasons" they tend to offer are that a) car occupants should look first and b) it hasn't happened to them yet so therefore it won't in the future. Both these "reasons" are without merit since the assumptions behind them are demonstrably wrong.

Many also suggest that "I can't give such a wide berth as there are cars behind me who can't get past". One understands the pressure of these tailgaters but that pressure is still preferable to being doored, especially since the dooring might also put you under the wheels of the tailgater.

As to passing on the left, even if there is a so-called cyclepath down the gutter - I avoid them - they're designed to get you doored and/or left-hooked. The designers of such things should be had-up for criminal neglect of cyclists safety. After all, car drivers and also their passengers are often stupid, unthinking, uncaring or downright aggressive. A sad fact of life.

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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby PH » 18 Oct 2018, 12:39pm

661-Pete wrote:It all helps I suppose, but is it enough? Remember we're often talking about car passengers here - are they under any obligation to have actually read the HC?

They're not, but a driver is responsible for the actions of the passenger.
The HC update is a change from the position last year when the All Party Parliamentary Cycling Group were told there were no plans to teach or advise on this technique. It's not enough, the offence carries a maximum £1,000 fine and that doesn't get imposed. Cycling UK has for years been calling for tougher penalties and for it not to be considered a trivial offence. Tragic case outside Leicester Railway Station a couple of years ago, Taxi on double yellow lines, passenger opened the door and cyclist killed when they swerved into the path of a van, passenger fined £80, driver £300 and appealed against it, though thankfully it was rejected.

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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby Pete Owens » 19 Oct 2018, 1:43am

Oh no not the Dutch Reach again.
Please will anyone who is still perpetuating this nonsense get into a car, try it and see for yourself that IT DOESN'T WORK.

Reach over to the door handle with the wrong hand and press your face right up to the window and enjoy a magnificent vie of ... your door pillar. There is simply no way from inside the car that you are going to be able to see a cyclist approaching in the door zone directly through the side window. The only way to do this is to use the mirror - and this should be adjusted for a normal sitting position.

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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby Cunobelin » 19 Oct 2018, 6:29am

mjr wrote:
661-Pete wrote:Cycling - when I can, I simply avoid the door zone by giving parked vehicles a wide berth. But that's not always possible on a busy road, [...]

I'm sure we've had this discussion before, but I can't find it quickly. I believe it's always possible to ride wide of parked cars, but sometimes people choose to play car door roulette in order to make faster progress - it's a choice.


It can be the case that busy roads decrease the possibility of being car doored..... on a busy road there is significant damage that can be done if one o those passing cars hits your door, so drivers will look. On a quieter road the chances of being hit by another car are less, so looking is either cursory or not performed

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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby meic » 19 Oct 2018, 9:15am

Pete Owens wrote:Oh no not the Dutch Reach again.
Please will anyone who is still perpetuating this nonsense get into a car, try it and see for yourself that IT DOESN'T WORK.

Reach over to the door handle with the wrong hand and press your face right up to the window and enjoy a magnificent vie of ... your door pillar. There is simply no way from inside the car that you are going to be able to see a cyclist approaching in the door zone directly through the side window. The only way to do this is to use the mirror - and this should be adjusted for a normal sitting position.

As pointed out here, some people cant even manage to do the Dutch Reach.
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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby pete75 » 19 Oct 2018, 10:49am

Pete Owens wrote:Oh no not the Dutch Reach again.
Please will anyone who is still perpetuating this nonsense get into a car, try it and see for yourself that IT DOESN'T WORK.

Reach over to the door handle with the wrong hand and press your face right up to the window and enjoy a magnificent vie of ... your door pillar. There is simply no way from inside the car that you are going to be able to see a cyclist approaching in the door zone directly through the side window. The only way to do this is to use the mirror - and this should be adjusted for a normal sitting position.


Just tried and it does work. You must have exceptionally short arms if your face is pressed up against the window.

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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby brynpoeth » 19 Oct 2018, 10:56am

I cycled by some parked vehicles without the door zone
A PoB undertook me on the inside
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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby mjr » 19 Oct 2018, 11:42am

pete75 wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:Oh no not the Dutch Reach again.
Please will anyone who is still perpetuating this nonsense get into a car, try it and see for yourself that IT DOESN'T WORK. [...]


Just tried and it does work. You must have exceptionally short arms if your face is pressed up against the window.

Car designs and people's flexibility vary a lot - there's a topic somewhere where people measured various car doors, showing a huge range. I suspect Dutch Reach works for some combinations and not others. The important thing is really the slow-open at the end, but calling this "Dutch Reach" de-emphasises that.

I think it's probably a bit of a distraction, but at least it's addressing the perpetrators rather than the victims. Does anyone know if they're removing any of the other now-debunked victim-blaming junk from the Highway Code to make space for this questionable bit?

There's not much detail in the reports, but one good thing IMO is it sounds like turning traffic may be more explicitly required to give way to traffic continuing straight ahead along the footways/cycleways and adjacent lanes they turn across - although that's another thing previously opposed by Mr Owens despite its success in neighbouring countries.
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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby The utility cyclist » 20 Oct 2018, 8:12am

Pete Owens wrote:Oh no not the Dutch Reach again.
Please will anyone who is still perpetuating this nonsense get into a car, try it and see for yourself that IT DOESN'T WORK.

Reach over to the door handle with the wrong hand and press your face right up to the window and enjoy a magnificent vie of ... your door pillar. There is simply no way from inside the car that you are going to be able to see a cyclist approaching in the door zone directly through the side window. The only way to do this is to use the mirror - and this should be adjusted for a normal sitting position.

Which side window are you talking about, do you mean a door window? My Passat has a very thick pillar and have never ever had a problem looking over my shoulder and in conjunction with a mirror seeing whether it was safe to open the door. A mirror is NEVER enough, you must always look over your shoulder and indeed use the rear view mirror too if a clear view behind.
The over the shoulder look is as important if not more so than a look through the wing mirror, you are advocating a dangerous procedure to exit it a vehicle by advocating only looking through the mirror, this is bad advice, stop doing so for the sake of people's safety!
Last edited by The utility cyclist on 21 Oct 2018, 3:52pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: HC update - opening motor vehicle doors ...

Postby Pete Owens » 20 Oct 2018, 11:55pm

mjr wrote:
pete75 wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:Oh no not the Dutch Reach again.
Please will anyone who is still perpetuating this nonsense get into a car, try it and see for yourself that IT DOESN'T WORK. [...]


Just tried and it does work. You must have exceptionally short arms if your face is pressed up against the window.

Car designs and people's flexibility vary a lot - there's a topic somewhere where people measured various car doors, showing a huge range. I suspect Dutch Reach works for some combinations and not others. The important thing is really the slow-open at the end, but calling this "Dutch Reach" de-emphasises that.

It works for nobody and has nothing to do with flexibility or arm length; it is a matter of simple geometry and the fact that light travels in straight lines.

If you are perfectly flexible, so able turn your head through 180 degrees and face backwards with you face pressed against the glass your left eye is still about 7cm inside the glass. The door post about 30cm behind extends a further cm outside the glass. This means that there is a blind spot extending in a wedge behind the door getting wider by ~25cm for every metre. By the time you are 6m back the entire width of a door zone cycle lane is impossible to see. A door zone cyclist approaching at 15mph will take less than a second to cover that distance so has no chance. (you can argue about the precise dimensions, but the principle remains there will always be a blind wedge that very soon becomes wide enough to conceal a cyclist.

When the chap from America first started to promote this nonsense I thought that it sounded like a good idea so I tried it. The video made it look straight forward, lean over look back and every thing was clear. So I tried it and quickly realisied that it didn't work - and worked out why it couldn't possibly work. So I went back to look at the video again:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzIf80eSfCg&feature=youtu.be
The critical bit is at about 1:05 onwards. The video supposedly giving the clear drivers view of an approaching cyclist works because...
it is pushed through the open window!
And even then the front wheel only comes into view very close to the car. Carry on to 1:25 and watch him get out of the car and shut the door with the window still open (which of course it has to be if you need to poke your head through it immediately before opening it). Perhaps the video should be retitled "The Dutch guide to car security".

Of course this means that video is deliberately misleading. Even if he believed the technique was effective before he made the film he must have realised it was rubbish by the very fact that he needed to open the window to make it appear to work.

And to those who still claim to be able to see through door posts. Try it again, but this time take a friend with you. Arrange for the car to be parallel parked and get them to stand just next to the rear of the next but one car. Now try to see them directly through the side window. The only way you will see them is in the mirror and that will be adjusted for your normal sitting position - not for leaning towards the door.