You are here: Home - Insurance - News -

The £1,000 fine for opening your car door with the wrong hand

Written by: Emma Lunn
Changes to the Highway Code come into effect on Saturday 29 January. One of the new rules is that drivers must use the “Dutch Reach” method to open their car door.

The Dutch Reach means that instead of using the hand closest to the door to open it, you use your far hand.

This means that drivers, who sit on the right-hand side of the vehicle in UK-made cars, would use their left hand to open the car. Passengers sitting on the left-hand side of the car would have to reach over with their right hand.

This practice requires you to reach across your chest to open the door, forcing you to swivel your upper torso. This enables you to look in the rear-view mirror, out to the side, and then look over your shoulder to see any oncoming traffic.

The move allows a continuous view of oncoming traffic while preparing to exit, opening the door and stepping out.

The idea of the rule change is to reduce the number of cyclists being ‘doored’ by drivers who open their doors without looking and so cause a collision.

The Dutch Reach can also protect drivers and passengers themselves from being struck by an oncoming car. Drivers who injure someone by opening a car door unsafely can be fined £1,000.

Other changes to the Highway Code split road users into hierarchies. Those with the potential to cause the most harm – such as those driving big vehicles – have more responsibility to reduce the threat posed to others.

Under the hierarchy, pedestrians are viewed as most vulnerable followed by cyclists, horse riders, motorcyclists, cars, vans and large passenger or heavy goods vehicles.

Another rule change is that at a junction, drivers and motorcyclists must give way to pedestrians crossing or waiting to cross. In addition, cyclists should give way to pedestrians on shared-cycle tracks. Drivers are also encouraged to stop and wait for a safe distance between cyclists at roundabouts or in slow-moving traffic.

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Everything you wanted to know about ISAs…but were afraid to ask

The new tax year is less than a fortnight away and for ISA savers or investors, it’s hugely important. If yo...

Your right to a refund if travel is affected by train strikes

There have been a wave of train strikes in the past six months, and for anyone travelling today Friday 3 Febru...

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week