New advice regarding opening vehicle doors
To further protect cyclists or vulnerable road users, the DVLA are suggesting that drivers and passengers use the ‘Dutch reach’ when opening a vehicle door.
This advice states that, where possible, you should open the door using your hand on the opposite side to the door you’re opening. For example, using your left hand to open a door on your right-hand side. In turn, this will naturally make you turn your head and look over your shoulder, making you more likely to avoid causing injury to cyclists, motorcyclists, or pedestrians that may be passing you on the road or pavement respectively.
What do these changes to the Highway Code mean for my existing transport policy?
To keep both your team and your transport policy up to date, it is more important than ever to continually train and update your drivers on any key changes to the Highway Code.
Ensuring your drivers are safe on the road is a key part of protecting both your staff and your team under Work Related Road Risk (WRRR). The increasing frequency and scope of changes, driven by new technology and legislation requires employers to take extra steps to ensure that their teams and their vehicles remain compliant.
Your duty of care under WRRR includes, but is not limited to:
- Regularly training your team
- Checking their vehicles are compliant
- Ensuring that the vehicles your team are using are fit for purpose - e.g. transporting heavy goods in a van, not a car.
Keep your teams up to date with these changes to the Highway Code to minimise potential risks that they may face while travelling on behalf of the organisation and maximise the safety of your employees as well as anyone they may encounter.