Awareness campaign launch promotes a popular European safety measure
THORNHILL, ON, May 7, 2018 /CNW/ - As more people decide to get outdoors and cycle, and 'dooring' continuing to be an issue, Share the Road Cycling Coalition and CAA South Central Ontario (CAA SCO) are encouraging Ontarians to do the 'Dutch Reach', a life-saving technique that started in the Netherlands, in a new campaign.
"Safety has improved for cyclists in jurisdictions where the Dutch Reach is used by drivers," said Jamie Stuckless, executive director of Share the Road Cycling Coalition.
The 'Dutch Reach' is a technique that has the driver reaching to open the car door with their right hand, forcing them to turn their body and look for cyclists while slowly opening the door. Passengers would use their left hand. In the Netherlands, the technique is taught at a young age and tested during driving exams.
"The goal of the campaign video wasn't to reinvent the wheel. We just hope to provoke people to do the 'Dutch Reach' and put it in practice. The simple action could go a long way to educate drivers and their passengers to improve overall safety," adds Stuckless.
While the penalty for 'dooring' increased in 2015, the issue persists with 209 dooring collisions reported to the Toronto Police Service in 2016. 'Dooring' a cyclist carries a set fine of $365 and three points. The number of dooring collisions increased year over year in both 2015 and 2016 and was up 58 per cent in 2016 from the 2014 baseline.
The partnership between CAA and Share the Road hopes to educate people on a simple but proven tactic to keep everyone safely moving.
"Like most collisions, dooring is preventable," said Teresa Di Felice, assistant vice president of government and community relations at CAA SCO. "We are asking people to replace an old habit with a new one. The 'Dutch Reach' – is a simple and effective way to prevent a terrible car-bike collision. We hope that by highlighting this method, and encouraging people to engage on their own to learn more about it, they will be empowered to make our roads safer, save lives and reduce cyclist injuries."
The creative development of the video was done pro-bono by Toronto-based Top Drawer Creative, and paid for by CAA SCO. It is shareable on YouTube and can also be viewed on CAA and Share the Road channels.
About CAA South Central Ontario
For over a hundred years, CAA has been helping Canadians stay mobile, safe and protected. CAA South Central Ontario is one of nine auto clubs across Canada providing roadside assistance, travel, insurance services and Member savings for our over 2 million Members.
About Share the Road
Share the Road is a provincial non-profit organization working to build a bicycle-friendly Ontario. We work in partnership with municipal, provincial and federal governments, the business community, road safety organizations and other non-profits to enhance access for bicyclists on roads and trails, improve safety for all bicyclists and educate citizens on the value and importance of safe bicycling for healthy lifestyles and healthy communities.
SOURCE CAA South Central Ontario
For further information: CAA South Central Ontario: Nadia Matos C: (416) 523-0663 E: [email protected] or Kaitlynn Furse C: (647) 227-7559 E: [email protected]; Share the Road Cycling Coalition: Jamie Stuckless C: (613) 618-8930, E: [email protected]