Children should be taught how to safely open car doors, says father of cyclist killed in 'dooring' incident

Jeff Boulton calls on the government to start teaching children the Dutch Reach

Commuting by bike
(Image credit: Richard Baybutt)

All children should be taught how to safely open car doors according to the family of a cyclist who died after being knocked into the path of a van by a door opened by a taxi passenger.

Sam Boulton died on July 27, 2017 after Mandy Chapple, the passenger of a taxi, opened the door into his path without looking, knocking Mr Boulton into the path of traffic. He was then hit by a van driven by Nigel Ingram, who was found to be over the drink drive limit.

Now Sam's father, Jeff Boulton, is calling on the government to start teaching children the "Dutch Reach", which sees drivers and passengers open the door with the hand furthest away from the door, thereby forcing them to look behind them when opening a vehicle door, and also make it a part of the driving test.

The BBC reports that Cycling UK, working alongside Mr Boulton, has written to the Department of Transport to call for action to reduce the number of incidences of car dooring.

Mr Boulton has also called for harsher penalties for drivers and passengers for dooring cyclists, after Ms Chapple was fined just £80 and taxi driver Farook Yusuf Bhikhu fined £955 over Sam Boulton's death.

Drivers in the Netherlands are required to use the Dutch Reach when taking their driving tests.

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Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.